Morrisons loses Devon council court bid over Tesco plan

Former Focus store in Tavistock The Tesco planning application for a former DIY store was granted by West Devon Borough Council

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Supermarket giant Morrisons has lost its bid for a judicial review over a council's decision to grant planning permission to its rival Tesco.

Along with Councillor Robert Oxborough, Morrisons said West Devon Borough Council's decision for the Tavistock site was unlawful.

The row blew up over a retail study indicating other firms in the town were struggling.

Councillor Oxborough said the report might have swayed the initial decision.

'Robust defence'

At a planning meeting in January, he said he was told by council staff there was no provision for him to speak about the study and he later complained.

TIMELINE

  • 2007: Approval given for Focus store in Tavistock
  • 2008: Focus store built
  • May 2011: Focus goes into administration
  • July 2011: Minor alterations allowed in planning application. Restriction as non-food outlet not retained
  • May 2012: Council fails in judicial review
  • January 2014: Tesco planning application granted by West Devon Borough Council

The Conservative councillor for Tavistock South said he wanted to talk about preliminary findings that showed independent shops were making a loss or breaking even.

In a statement, the council said: "We are pleased the judge has ruled in our favour and listened to our thorough and robust defence.

"There is now a short period of time where the claimants could request an oral hearing for a review of the judge's refusal decision and we are waiting to see what happens next."

Mr Roxborough said it would be "premature" to comment, while BBC News has been unable to reach Morrisons.

Tesco is yet to comment.

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