Sains­bury’s pe­ti­tioned High Court over £100m devel­op­ment

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - by Will Ack­er­mann will.ack­er­mann@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A LEGAL chal­lenge by Sains­bury’s to pre­vent a £100 mil­lion devel­op­ment in South Ruis­lip has been re­jected by the High Court.

The su­per­mar­ket gi­ant had ap­plied for a ju­di­cial re­view of the process through which plan­ning per­mis­sion was granted for the pro­posed devel­op­ment, which would in­clude a ri­val Asda store.

But the High Court has re­fused per­mis­sion for the re­view, rul­ing Hilling­don Coun­cil fol­lowed proper pro­ce­dures.

Sains­bury’s now has un­til Fri­day to de­bate the de­ci­sion.

An­drew Ren­nie, man­ag­ing direc­tor of Ci­ty­grove Se­cu­ri­ties Ltd, the firm be­hind the devel­op­ment plans, said: “We are de­lighted that the judge has re­fused per­mis­sion. It is the first stage and hope­fully the last stage.

“We cer­tainly feel that the judge’s rea­son­ing was short, suc­cinct and quite ro­bust. It is ob­vi­ously up to Sains­bury’s what hap­pens next.”

The plans in­volve build­ing a 40,000 sq ft Asda su­per­mar­ket, a cinema com­plex, five restau­rants, 14 houses and 118 flats at the derelict for­mer Arla dairy site in Vic­to­ria Road.

The devel­op­ment is ex­pected to cre­ate more than 530 jobs.

Work had been sched­uled to begin this month, but has been de­layed by the legal pro­ceed­ings.

Mr Ren­nie said that if Sains­bury’s ap­peals the court’s de­ci­sion, this would cause a fur­ther two-month de­lay, even if the ju­di­cial re­view is again re­fused.

Ci­ty­grove has pre­vi­ously es­ti­mated that, if a ju­di­cial re­view were granted, it could de­lay the project by up to a year and cost the coun­cil up­wards of £200,000.

Mr Ren­nie said: “I would hope that Sains­bury’s will ap­pre­ci­ate that its ac­tions have no prospect of suc­cess. Sains­bury’s has al­ready de­layed the com­mence­ment of works by a cou­ple of months, and should now let Hilling­don de­cide what is best for South Ruis­lip.”

Sains­bury’s has had per­mis­sion to dou­ble the size of its ex­ist­ing su­per­mar­ket, in nearby Long Drive, since 2006, but has not done so.

The com­pany wants per­mis­sion to build a new store on the site while work is be­ing car­ried out.

A Sains­bury’s spokesman said: “We are wait­ing for the judge’s full writ­ten re­port so that we can re­view and con­sider our next steps.”

STAND­ING FIRM: Res­i­dents demon­strate against Sains­bury’s’ at­tempt to block a planned £100m devel­op­ment from be­ing built in South Ruis­lip

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