Derwent takes strike against LCCC

The Court of Appeal hearing between Derwent Holdings and Lancashire County Cricket Club and Tesco's redevelopment plan for Old Trafford cricket ground begins today in London.

The hearing is listed to last two days but a quick judgment is not guaranteed from the three judges sitting.

Jim Cumbes, chief executive of LCCC, said the hearing represents the most important moment in the club's 153-year history.

The legal challenge to LCCC is by Isle of Man-based billionaire Albert Gubay's Derwent Holdings, owner of the White City retail park close to Old Trafford.

LCCC and Tesco's plans include £32m of investment in new pitches, stands, state-of-the-art player and media facilities and an extension to the ground's indoor cricket school and public areas. Two new grandstands and a refurbished Pavilion will ensure a capacity of 15,000, capable of rising to 25,000 with temporary seating, and a screen showing action replays and the new floodlights. The development, which includes a 100,000 sq ft Tesco food store on land nearby, will bring to total investment of at least £70m and over 500 jobs into parts of Trafford which suffer from low levels of economic activity and employment.

Derwent was previously refused planning permission for a Sainsbury's at White City. Sainsbury's has since said it will not occupy a store at Derwent's scheme.

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