Tops launches legal action over Trinity Quarter (UK)

Universities Superannuation Scheme’s proposed £150m Trinity Quarter retail development in the centre of Leeds has hit problems after legal action from rival developers.

A group of five local landowners, including Tops Estates, Leeds GP and Mall Nominee, has launched a high court action against Leeds city council. They have won planning consent for a rival scheme and are looking to overturn the compulsory purchase order granted to USS by the council.

The consortium argues that the council did not carry out “a proper comparative exercise” between the two developments. Instead, USS was awarded planning consent and compulsory purchase powers in the spring.

The USS plan provides 300,000 sq ft of retail space through 70 units, while the Tops scheme is thought to include larger retail units. The existing tenants would not be required to relocate, unlike with the USS scheme.

A Tops spokesperson said: “We passionately believe our scheme is better environmentally and financially for Leeds. Legal action has been forced on us by commercial realities. It is an ongoing process.'

USS responded by saying: “The Trinity and Burton arcades are in urgent need of redevelopment. But for the actions of Tops, the construction of Trinity Quarter would have commenced long ago. USS’s commitment to Trinity Quarter is unwavering. We expect to start on site in late 2005 and complete the scheme in 2008.”
Source: Freeman

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