A developer’s high court bid to force through expansion plans for a retail park has been defeated.
Hyndburn Council blocked plans by Peel Holdings for a £16m revamp of Whitebirk Retail Park.
The council refused to override a policy restricting the site’s retail use to bulky goods such as electrical and home improvement items.
Peel Holdings had asked the council to grant ‘certificates of lawful development’ for several of its units.
The High Court dismissed the appeal by Peel Holdings and upheld the decision made by the council.
Council leader Miles Parkinson welcomed the judgement and thanked the support received from Blackburn with Darwen Council, Hyndburn MP Graham Jones and Blackburn MP Jack Straw.
He said: “It has been determined at planning appeal that the unrestricted sale of goods from units at the Peel Centre would have a harmful impact on local town centres and the council does not believe that the use of tenuous judicial challenges is an appropriate means of removing the restrictions that were placed on these units.
“Decisions on the use and development of land should be open and transparent and determined through the proper planning process as intended by Parliament.”
Peel Holdings was unavailable for comment as the Observer went to press.
Peel bosses previously told the Observer the refurbishment would create 250 jobs and that a survey of local people showed 95 per cent support.