Hyndburn council bosses have vowed to contest yet another appeal by Peel Holdings against an extension of Whitebirk retail park’s retail offer.
The council has confirmed Peel has taken its ongoing planning fight to the Supreme Court – after a previous appeal was refused by the Court of Appeal late last year.
Peel wants to overturn restrictions put in place by Hyndburn council on the goods that can be traded at the retail park, which limit it to outlets such as electrical and furniture stores.
Council bosses refused to relax the rules, which permit only bulky goods to be traded, last April and a bid for a judicial review of the decision was rejected. Both Hyndburn and Blackburn with Darwen councils had challenged the appeal. The Observer now understands Peel are appealing to the Supreme Court, the highest court in the country, over the decision.
A Hyndburn council spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Peel are seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. The council will be resisting this application on the grounds that it believes the Court of Appeal properly considered all the points.”
The spokesman added: “The council welcomes the decision of the Court of Appeal in respect of the use of units at the Peel Centre at Whitebirk. Fundamentally, the planning applications that were the subject of the challenge were not seeking a change of use of those units, but were seeking permission to undertake a variety of building works. The range of goods sold by those units will therefore continue to be restricted by the legal agreement that exists between Peel Investments and Hyndburn Borough Council. The council is willing to work with Peel Investments to ensure that the Peel Centre is developed in a manner consistent with national and local planning policies but also in the open and transparent manner expected by the prescribed planning process.”
Peel did not respond to requests to confirm they had lodged the case with the Supreme Court.
However, the firm previously said it was ‘disappointed’ with the court’s decision.
A spokesman had previously said: “Peel will be seeking leave to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court at the earliest opportunity in order for that court to review the position and give clarity to the legal uncertainty which now exists.”