Store delay threatens £2.6m works

SCHEMES worth £2.6m aimed at improving the Lancaster district could be put on hold if a judicial review delays council plans to sell land to Booths supermarket.

Lancaster City Council had initially budgeted to receive £8m for the sale of the Lawson’s Bridge site off the A6 south of Lancaster during the current financial year.

But the transaction was thrown into doubt after Commercial Estates Projects (CEP) applied for a judicial review into the council’s decision to grant Booths planning permission.

CEP has appealed against the council’s decision to refuse it permission for a bigger supermarket next door.

The council’s cabinet this week heard that if the judicial review is granted, any receipts from the sale of the land could be delayed beyond 2012/13.

The council had budgeted to use the proceeds to help slash borrowing used to help fund capital schemes, but if the cash is not received by March 2013 it would face a £2.6m funding shortfall.

Schemes which could be delayed include building works at council properties including the two town halls, plus schemes to give streets in Lancaster and Morecambe a facelift.

See the Lancaster Guardian (16-02-12) for full story.