High Court ruling clears way for Skelmersdale leisure build

The battle between two rival Skelmersdale leisure developments looks to be over, after the Court of Appeal dismissed a legal challenge against the construction of a 100,000 sq ft project by St Modwen.

The legal wranglings over retail and leisure proposals in the Lancashire town centre have been ongoing for two years.

Skelmersdale Limited Partnership, a joint venture between London & Cambridge Properties and Threadneedle Investment, is the owner of Skelmersdale’s Concourse Shopping Centre.

LCP's £4m extension of Concourse is 'threatened' by St Modwen, the developer said

LCP’s £4m extension of Concourse is ‘threatened’ by St Modwen, the developer said

SLP was granted planning permission in 2014 for a £4m leisure extension to the centre, with restaurants and a 20,000 sq ft cinema. The partnership took legal action when West Lancashire Council then gave approval to a nearby 100,000 sq ft retail and leisure project by St Modwen, which LCP felt threatened the viability of the Concourse project.

In January, the High Court found against SLP after a judicial review, but SLP then applied to the Court of Appeal to overturn the decision.

Judges have now ruled that St Modwen’s project can go ahead.

The relationship between St Modwen and West Lancashire Council has been ongoing for several years. The council and the Homes & Communities Agency appointed St Modwen to redevelop the town centre in 2007. St Modwen drew up plans for a £350m development totalling 500,000 sq ft in 2008 but these were abandoned in the downturn.

Planning permission was granted in March 2015 for a smaller mixed-use development, including a Reel Cinema, shops, restaurants and bars.

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It is incredible to see all the processes required for this big construction.

By Andres Correa

Ridiculous decision, have Public Bodies still not learnt from the mistakes of the recent past? The opportunity for the much needed redevelopment of the Concourse is now likely to be pulled.

By Anon

Good on ya Skem for taking control of your towns destiny. The Concourse is really dated, and difficult to do much with that layout with all the floors in the wrong place, visited a few months ago and it was an eye opener. I do hope St. Modwen will inject a bit of competition, essential for any town or district and help give people the facilities they deserve and have waited a long time for. Railway station next linked to Merseyrail Electrics!

By Altmouth

For all its bad press, I’ve found that an unusually large proportion of people from Skelmersdale are quite nice people. I’m often pleasantly surprised when I meet Skem folk.

By Stocky

They’re great folk.. I went to school with people from Skem who moved out there when I was a lad… and I found the people in the shops in the Concourse recently very friendly and helpful.

By Altmouth

This is a great decision, the Concourse and its owners have had a monopolistic grip on the commercial centre of Skelmersdale for decades and its driven the under investment and lack of development in the town. Hopefully this will begin the kick start the town really needs.

By Andrew

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