Scunthorpe shopping centre plan approved by judge

image captionThe £20m development will include retailers Marks and Spencer and Debenhams

A judge has approved plans for a shopping development outside Scunthorpe despite objections from town centre shop owners who fear it will hit trade.

The £20m project is to be built on the former Trent Valley garden centre site.

Council planners have twice approved the scheme, but owners of the Foundry shopping centre in the High Street took legal action saying it would hit trade.

However, a High Court judge has ruled that the development, expected to be completed by summer 2014, can go ahead.

Flagship investment

At a hearing in Leeds, Mr Justice Hickinbottom dismissed all six objections lodged against the scheme.

Liz Redfern, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: "This is great news. It's exactly the type of flagship investment this area needs.

"We will continue to support our town centre traders, especially our independent retailers.

"It's now time that the whole area get together to support this scheme, working together on its implementation can only benefit all of us."

Tenants in the new development include Marks and Spencer and Debenhams.

A spokesperson for Threadneedle Property Investment, which owns the Foundry Shopping Centre, said: "Despite the judge's decision to allow the development to proceed we feel fully justified in challenging North Lincolnshire Council's planning application.

"It is now an acknowledged principle that a buoyant town centre high street is vital for the wellbeing of the overall community at a local and regional level."

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