Casebook: Court cases - Landowner wins superstore approval challenge

Bridgnorth District Council's decision to grant permission for an out-of-centre Tesco supermarket has been quashed after a landowner persuaded the High Court that there was insufficient quantitative need for the scheme.

The council granted permission for a 2,896m2 store in December 2004.

As part of implementing the scheme, it proposed to compulsorily acquire adjoining land. In objecting to the proposal, the landowner claimed that when the application was considered by the council, Somerfield's main town centre supermarket was trading well in excess of company average levels.

The company maintained that Sainsbury's subsequent occupation of the store and the opening of a Tesco Express store had removed overtrading from the town centre and that there was insufficient quantitative need for an out-of-centre supermarket. Deputy judge David Mole QC agreed that changes in the trading position of town centre food and convenience goods retailers were an important material consideration that should have had a bearing on the council's decision.

Horne and Meredith Properties Ltd v Bridgnorth District Council and Others; Date: 27 October 2005; Ref: CO/1189/2005.

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