West Lancashire Borough Council is continuing to work with partners to regenerate Skelmersdale Town Centre despite learning the Concourse owners have been given permission to appeal against a recent High Court decision dismissing their legal challenge to a regeneration scheme granted planning permission by the Council in 2015.
The regeneration scheme would bring new shops and leisure opportunities into Skelmersdale as well as many other benefits.
Permission to appeal is a preliminary step in the appeal process and full consideration of the matters will only be undertaken in a substantive hearing before the Court of Appeal. No date has been set for the substantive hearing of the appeal. The Council has written to the court asking that the hearing takes place as soon as possible.
Councillor Ian Moran, Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council and Portfolio Holder for Transformation and Economic Regeneration, said: “The Council is very disappointed that the owners of the Concourse Centre have been given permission to appeal. The High Court rejected all their grounds of appeal and upheld the Council’s decision to grant planning permission for the re-development of Skelmersdale town centre.
“The Council remains committed to the Skelmersdale Town Centre Regeneration scheme as we believe this will benefit the people of Skelmersdale and West Lancashire as a whole. The Council considers the High Court made the right decision and we will continue to put forward our legal case in a robust manner.
“We believe that we have a very strong case and we have written to the court asking that the appeal hearing takes place as soon as possible to try and avoid any further unnecessary delay to the regeneration scheme which has the backing of the Council and its partners, leading regeneration specialist, St. Modwen and the Homes and Community Agency.”
As well as delivering new shops the Skelmersdale town centre regeneration scheme will create new leisure opportunities including a cinema, restaurants and bars. The scheme will also bring a host of other benefits, including a high street link between West Lancashire College and the existing town centre, the construction of new and attractive public spaces, together with improved lighting and pedestrian surfaces. This will make the town centre more attractive for shoppers and visitors looking to enjoy their leisure time. An exciting new play area will also be created to help cater for the needs of young families. The scheme will also create in excess of 500 new jobs.
Paul Batho, Project Director, St. Modwen said: “We’re disappointed that the owners have been given leave to appeal, however together with partners West Lancashire Borough Council and the Homes and Community Agency, we remain committed to delivering the scheme at the earliest possible opportunity.”