New Lidl in Greater Manchester has planning permission pulled after legal action by Co-operative Group

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A High Court judge has made a ruling which affects its planning permission.

A new Lidl supermarket has had its planning permission quashed by a High Court judge.

The huge development, on a 27-acre site off Darwen Road in Bromley Cross, Bolton, which also includes 43 retirement apartments, was given planning permission since Bolton Council granted it in September 2021.

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However, a case was brought by Co-operative Group Ltd against Bolton Council which was heard on 13 January at the High Court of Justice Queens Bench Division planning court.

As a result of that case, which the Local Democracy Reporting Service understands was not defended by Bolton Council, a court order was issued by His Honour Judge Stephen Davies.

It states: “The claimant is granted permission to challenge the defendant’s decision dated September 1, to grant planning permission for land off Darwen Road, Bromley Cross.

Planning permission is hereby quashed and the application is remitted to the defendant’s local planning authority for redetermination.”

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The court order affecting Lidl in Bolton  Courtesy: LDRSThe court order affecting Lidl in Bolton  Courtesy: LDRS
The court order affecting Lidl in Bolton Courtesy: LDRS

Judge Davies also ordered Bolton Council to pay Co-Operative Group’s legal costs for the case which means the authority will hand over £12,532 to them.

Lidl (Great Britain) Ltd were named on the court order as an interested party.

The order stated that Lidl did not ‘play any part in the proceedings and has confirmed that is does not wish to do so’.

What does it all mean?

The court order means that the development does not have current planning permission.

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The order has been published on Bolton Council’s planning website but no other details of the basis of the Co-Operative Group’s case have been made public.

It is understood an update on the matter will be given to members of Bolton’s planning committee at a meeting on Thursday, 3 February.

Bromley Cross councillor Samantha Connor issued a statement on behalf of the ward’s three Conservative councillors saying they were ‘very concerned’ about the court order.

It read: “As your local councillors we are all very concerned about this.

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“We are setting up meetings with officers to find out exactly what has happened.

“We know this is not ideal, but we will post again when we know the full facts.

“We should point out that this is not a final determination of the matter.

“Please bear with us as we investigate.”

What’s the background?

Last September’s approved planning application also granted permission for four football pitches and a 91-space commuter car park for Bromley Cross train station on land off Darwen Road.

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The plans were first backed by councillors in January 2021, but then needed signing off by the Secretary of State.

The store is set to be built on a 27-acre site with a car park for 125 vehicles at the derelict former Holland Garden Centre and green belt land at the rear.

The plans also include a retirement living development of 43 apartments for over 55s, a mix of one and two-bedroom flats, and a 37-space car park.

New football pitches, two full size and two junior size, as well as a new clubhouse and car parking, would be used by Bromley Cross Football Club and the wider community.

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The original planning application had to go to the Secretary of State as the development comprised inappropriate development on green belt and includes the provision of buildings with more than 1,000 square metres of floorspace.

A spokesman for Bolton Council said they would issue a response after the council meeting on 3 February.

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