High Court quashes hopes for Coleford Aldi supermarket

By Carmelo Garcia in Business

The High Court has overturned the Forest of Dean District Council’s decision to allow Aldi to build a supermarket in Coleford.

At a hearing in Bristol in June this year, the Judge, Mr Justice Singh, heard arguments from lawyers for the Council and Mid-Counties Co-operative in the challenge brought by the Co-operative against the Council’s grant of planning permission for a supermarket at Tufthorn Avenue in Coleford.

The applicant for planning permission was Aldi and they decided not to be represented in court.

Mid-Counties Co-operative argued that councillors were irrational in granting permission at Tufthorn Avenue when there was a vacant town centre site available.

The Judge rejected this argument and found that they had applied the correct legal test and given adequate reasons. However, he decided that the council failed to give reasons that adequately addressed the impact of a new store on town centre trade and to address the previous planning permission refusal.

The Judge handed down the decision at the High Court in London this morning.

The council has been ordered to pay Mid-Counties Co-operative costs of up to £35,000 and returned the planning application to the Council for reconsideration.

Councillor Richard Leppington, Forest of Dean District Council Cabinet Member for Development, Asset Management, Planning Policy, Infrastructure and Housing: “This is obviously a disappointing decision for us as the council felt this was the right thing for the town.

“We will carefully consider the judgement in our future re-determination of the application.”

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