Fresh Scunthorpe legal appeal for M&S retail park
A SHOPPING development set to bring Marks & Spencer back to Scunthorpe could face a further delay after a new appeal bid was launched.
A High Court judge ruled before Christmas that the project, brought forward by Simons Developments, could go ahead.
The green light came after a judicial review into North Lincolnshire Council's decision to grant planning permission for the scheme.
But the firm which brought the court action has instigated a new move against Mr Justice Hickinbottom's decision not to allow a right of appeal.
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If successful, the company would be able to seek a further appeal that they hope could see the M&S plan thrown out.
Zurich Assurance Ltd, trading as Threadneedle Property Investments, which represents Scunthorpe's Foundry shopping centre, will now take its case to the Court of Appeal.
Opposition to the retail park centred on what critics perceive as its negative impact on Scunthorpe town centre.
Traffic and environmental concerns were also expressed.
A Threadneedle spokeswoman confirmed the appeal bid.
She said: "We strongly believe in our case and feel our action is in the best interest of the community and businesses on the High Street."
The scheme, earmarked for the site of the Stephen H Smith's Garden Centre on Doncaster Road, is also set to include Debenhams and Boots stores.
Chris Newsome, development director for Simons, said he was disappointed at the new setback.
He said: "We are disappointed with Threadneedle's actions following the categoric judicial review decision which was made at the end of 2012.
"We believe there are clearly no grounds upon which the scheme should not progress.
"With the economy in such a fragile position, it is a great shame for the people of Scunthorpe."
A Marks & Spencer spokeswoman said: "We remain fully committed to the proposed development on Doncaster Road."
A Debenhams spokeswoman said: "We have a legal agreement in place for a new store at the retail park and we will be watching closely how the scenario develops."
A North Lincolnshire Council spokesman said: "The council's planning committee has twice passed this application.
"A High Court judge has also heard the application and found in favour of the council, awarding costs in the process.
"Naturally, we are disappointed to face another challenge.
"Nevertheless, the opponents of this scheme are within their rights to ask for the Court of Appeal to look at the matter and we will again be defending the council's actions."
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