Since then the Club have started their efforts in transforming the desolate land but one man has as good as declared himself a champion of private business owners against the super rich by refusing to sell his business that is situated within what will be the grounds of the complex.
Step forth Mr Shaun O'Brien of OB Truck Services. I would hazard a guess that this man was part of the 3% who objected to the proposed plans as he is the one who is refusing to sell up to City. Instead, he is selling off 1 sq foot of land at a time for £250 to anyone interested in stopping or at least slowing down City's development. I highly doubt it will come as any surprise that Mr O'Brien is also a Manchester United fan.
"People believe that because I am a United fan, I am refusing to sell [but] that has never been the case,"
"I am a Mancunian and fully support all that is being done in this area; what I am against is the methods used to carry out the plans."
He claims the club failed to "reasonably negotiate" a fair deal with him, so he has dug his heels in. The Club have offered what they feel is a fair price and offered assistance in relocating Mr O'Brien's business. He is the last remaining company on the land after all others have come to an agreement with the club, making his unfair proposal story sound a little off the mark.
The stance of his football allegiance having nothing to do with his decision also takes a bit of a knock if you go on the website being used to sell these plots of land. The section marked 'Why Buy' states "Satisfaction - has anybody given you stick over the 6-1? Payback!" and after asking 'What's the worst that could happen?' the first of the two points is "They (City) win the premiership."
Oh dear, indeed.
A City spokesman said "anyone buying this land, even a small plot, should take independent legal advice and inspect the land before buying".
City have applied for a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) which will basically force him to sell to the Club should it be deemed in the public interest, which it is, for City to be able to develop the land.
The spokesman added that the CPO "would not have been necessary if Mr O'Brien had been prepared to sell it at a realistic price and accept the football club's offer of help to relocate his business".
"The valuation he's placing on this land is far in excess of anything in Manchester and would make it equivalent to the most expensive plots in the most exclusive areas of London,"
Mr O'Brien sounds a little sour to me, he feels he didn't get a fair price so he's attempting to distort the value of his land by implementing a 'supply and demand' style negotiation system. The land is in short supply, but in high demand. The more City want the land, the more they will pay, is his philosophy.
Our survey says!? X
Not to worry, the land will belong to City, even Mr O'Brien accepts that fate, and this little hold up will not significantly impact on the work being done.
Other articles on the Etihad Campus can be found HERE
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