Lancashire clears Old Trafford hurdle

The appeal by Albert Gubay's Derwent Holdings against the Planning Inspector's decision to turn down plans to put extra retail on the White City shopping park which neighbours Old Trafford has been upheld by Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

The decision to uphold the planning inspector's recommendation that the appeal had no grounds comes days before Derwent takes its protest to High Court for judicial review into the decision to approve plans for the redevelopment of Old Trafford in a separate case on Monday.

Trafford councillor Mike Cornes said: "We welcome the decision of the Secretary of State to support the planning inspector's decision to dismiss the appeal, submitted by Derwent Holdings. I am delighted that in making this judgement both the Inspector and Secretary of State have upheld the decision of our planning committee and demonstrated, yet again, that they reached the correct decision in relation to this application."

Derwent argues that the 100,000 sq ft Tesco as part of the cricket club's plans is too large and anti-competitive.

The cricket club says the deal with Tesco and Ask Developments is necessary to underwite the ground's redevelopment, aimed at bringing The Ashes back by 2013.

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