Legal threat to new store plan

Booths proposals for Poulton and (below) Jon Bailie.
Booths proposals for Poulton and (below) Jon Bailie.
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AMBITIOUS plans to redevelop a town centre have been deferred by town hall bosses.

The multi-million pound proposal to revamp Poulton’s Teanlowe centre, adding a new Booths store and refurbishing the rest of the shopping centre, were put on hold at a planning meeting on Wednesday.

John Bailie

John Bailie

Wyre Council agreed to defer their decision to approve the plans after a letter sent from Dransfields threatened legal action against the council should the plans be approved.

Dransfields Properties plans to demolish the town’s neighbouring Market Hall and build an Asda supermarket in its place.

Speaking at the planning meeting at Wyre Civic Centre, John Thow, head of planning, said: “On Friday afternoon we received a pre-action letter of intent from Dransfields.

“The letter details several issues concerning the application and our consideration of it, which we considered, having taken counsels advice, should be addressed before the application is brought back to us before formal decision.”

Mr Thow later said there is no indication of how long it will now take the council to act on the issues raised.

He added: “The issues raised resulted in us having to seek further advice from third parties.”

Mr Thow said he cannot be sure the relevant information will be available for the next planning meeting, on Wednesday, October 3.

Following the meeting, Dransfield Properties stated the letter had been sent jointly from themselves and Asda Stores Ltd.

Andrew Malley, retail property director at Dransfield, said they had found problems in the plans regarding highways, traffic and air quality effect of the Booths store.

He said: “The company highlighted these concerns in a detailed objection to Wyre Borough Council and Lancashire County Council on August 1.

“Regeneration has to be done in a way that is right for Poulton and with this application there had not been a proper assessment of traffic and air quality.”

More than 50 residents had attended the meeting, hopeful of a resolution to proposals for Poulton.

John Bailie, of Blackpool Old Road, said: “The town needs regeneration and investment badly, it’s just a shame it can’t be done with a little more partnership.

“Commercial, council and community interests should come together to make something special for the town.”

Booths were unavailable for comment.

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