Could fresh legal challenge be the straw that breaks Sainsbury’s back? Is Whittlesey supermarket now in doubt?

11:45 10 June 2014

Whittlesey

Whittlesey 'supermarket-gate'

Archant

A fresh legal challenge could delay for up to four months Sainsbury’s bid to build a supermarket on the outskirts of Whittlesey.

And there is growing concern that the supermarket firm might pull out altogether if the legal uncertainty continues.

Just weeks after a High Court judge ruled an opposing developer’s objections to the Sainsbury store were “totally without merit” the issue is now to go the Court of Appeal.

Although Harrier Developments lost out on their bid to force a judicial review of Fenland Council’s granting of permission to Sainsbury, the Manea based firm run by Richard Sears is still hopeful of renewing a legal challenge.

He has submitted an application to the Court of Appeal against a ruling which prohibits him from contesting the earlier decision.

I understand Mr Sears has lodged an application to the Court of Appeal but it could be weeks, if not months before it is heard.

Legal and planning advisers to Whitacre Developments – the successful applicant behind the Eastrea Road Sainsbury site and run by March businessman Bruce Smith- face continuing uncertainty.

Although Mr Smith’s professional advisers believe the Court of Appeal bid to be akin to a tactical manoeuvre to generate uncertainty they are fearful the further delay could by the straw that breaks Sainsbury’s back.

Sainsbury, Mr Smith and his advisers have declined to comment on the latest move but they are clearly anxious that the longer the legal uncertainty continues the greater the risk remains of the supermarket chain pulling out altogether.

In the recent planning appeal court ruling, Mr Justice Mitting said Fenland Council’s decision to award planning permission for the Sainsbury’s store was a classic case for the exercise of judgement by the planning committee and head of planning.

He said: “Both reached decisions which they were entitled to reach for good reason. Hence the decision to refuse permission (for Tesco’s Eastrea Road plan) and the statement that the application is totally without merit.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ely Standard visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ely Standard staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ely Standard account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

Yesterday, 17:07

A police officer, who retired after being accused of theft and computer misuse, has received a suspended sentence. He will also be tagged on curfew.

Yesterday, 16:16
Police at the scene.  Pictures David Bale

Police confirm they have identified the body of a man discovered in the River Ouse at Downham Market on Monday (31 August).

Yesterday, 13:00
From left: Ely watch commander Mark Coupar, landlord Mike Connelly and fire protection watch commander Darryl Sharp.

A landlord has called on businesses across East Cambs to take fire safety more seriously, as part of Business Safety Week, after a blaze at his pub.

Yesterday, 11:38
The Neville Staple Band to perform charity gig at Waterbeach Beach Club

Neville Staple, who found fame with The Specials, is to perform a charity gig in Waterbeach this month.

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ely Standard e-edition today E-edition