The site of the central London Astoria venue has been confirmed for acquisition as part of the Crossrail project and compulsory purchase proceedings are now underway.

To enable the major redevelopment of Tottenham Court Road station, a number of properties will be compulsorily purchased and demolished. The Astoria 2 venue is also affected.

"This is a major step forward in the delivery of Crossrail and underlines the government's commitment to the project," said rail minister Lord Adonis in a statement.

Possession of the 13 affected properties is due to complete in Jan. 2009 when Compulsory Purchase Orders take effect and affected properties transfer to the secretary of state.

The 2,000-capacity Astoria venue has become a staple of the live music scene in central London since 1984, including the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Madonna.

The Astoria is controlled by Festival Republic, which is majority-owned by Live Nation. Live Nation did not comment on developments.

Westminster Council says a replacement venue must be part of any new proposal when the underground building works are complete.

The Crossrail development, linking Maidenhead in Berkshire to Shenfield in Essex via Heathrow airport and central London, is due for completion in 2017.