Legal battle delays new Booths store

A RIVAL developer is challenging a decision to give Booths the go-ahead for a new supermarket south of Lancaster.

Commercial Estates Projects (CEP) wants a judicial review into Lancaster City Council’s decision last May to grant planning approval for the store on council-owned land at Lawson’s Bridge off the A6.

Its move comes after Booths opposed its plans for a larger supermarket next door on fields it bought from farmer David Townley, claiming the store’s scale would affect city centre retailers.

That scheme, which CEP says generated interest from all “Big Four” supermarkets, was refused by the council’s planning committee after councillors decided it would generate too much traffic.

CEP appealed that decision, sparking a public inquiry which began at Lancaster Town Hall in November, at which Booths supported the council’s stance.

But CEP claims that one of the reasons given by the council for refusing its scheme was its failure to provide for an access road across the site which could serve a possible future housing development over the railway line at Whinney Carr.

See the Lancaster Guardian (02-02-12) for full story.