Judge blocks

Land Securities and Standard life have been successful in their legal challenge to halt Wilson Bowden’s £800m redevelopment of the Ravenscraig steelworks in Lanarkshire, Scotland.

The judge, Lord Justice Carloway, ruled that North Lanarkshire Council had exceeded its powers when it approved the scheme before the outcome of appeals against the Scottish Executive’s decision to grant town centre status to Ravenscraig.

The Ravenscraig Partnership, a consortium comprising Wilson Bowden, Corus and Scottish Enterprise Lanarkshire, had been awarded consent to redevelop the 1,100-acre site into a new town providing 3,500 homes, 900,000 sq ft of retail and 2m sq ft of industrial and business space.

Designation of Ravenscraig as a town centre would have made it easier to get planning consent for a development on such a large scale. However, LandSec and Standard Life, which have significant investments in nearby Hamilton and East Kilbride, object to the proposals. They argue that shops in the two towns would lose millions of pounds a year through competition from a new town centre.

The court was told that the Scottish Executive’s decision was contrary to the Glasgow and Clyde Valley Structure Plan, which aims to protect existing town centres. Last year, Scottish ministers approved an alteration to the structure plan that governs local planning policy, enabling Ravenscraig to be designated a town centre.

LandSec and Standard Life lodged an appeal against the Scottish Executive’s decision, with the case due to be heard in September. The judge has now ruled that North Lanarkshire Council exceeded its remit in awarding consent for Ravenscraig with the case pending, and has now overturned the decision.

The leader of North Lanarkshire Council, Jim McCabe, commented: “Work on this development will press ahead… The council is in no way deterred by this decision and is confident that the alteration to the structure plan will be confirmed by the court.”

Source: Freeman

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