Tithebarn development: Judge rejects appeal

Tithebarn development
Image caption Blackburn with Darwen Council said it was "deeply disappointed" by the ruling over the development

The £700m redevelopment of Preston city centre is set to go ahead after a legal challenge by a nearby council failed.

Last November, Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles ruled that the Tithebarn development should go ahead - over ruling the planning inspector.

Blackburn with Darwen Council appealed his decision at the Administrative Court. But Mr Justice Langstaff upheld Mr Pickles' decision.

Preston City Council said it was "delighted" by the ruling.

Council leader Peter Rankin said: "Our focus now is working with developers Lend Lease and Lancashire County Council to take Tithebarn forward, in what is a difficult economic climate.

"There is still a lot of work ahead, including raising the necessary finance and assembling the land.

"But now we have the planning permission, we can move forward with renewed energy and positivity to meet the challenges ahead to deliver the Tithebarn development and the investment and new jobs it will bring."

'Real buzz'

The plans include large-scale demolition and re-building work, creating a John Lewis store, a new bus station and a revamped market.

Councillor Dave Harling, of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said the authority was "deeply disappointed" but accepted the judge's decision.

He added: "There is a real buzz in the town since the opening of the new market and we will continue to build on the positives in the borough and Lancashire as a whole.

"We have said all along that we support business and development and have no desire to prevent regeneration in Preston.

"We took the action because we have a duty to protect our local businesses and jobs.

"We are concerned about the negative impact on our town as a result of the sheer size and scale of the proposed development."

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