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Monday, February 4, 2013

KLS to seek judicial review of supermarket plan

* The Dobson & Crowther site which is earmarked for a new Sainsbury's store. 

llanblogger exclusive

A community group is planning to seek a judicial review of how Denbighshire County Council handled planning applications for a Sainsbury’s supermarket in Llangollen.
Keep Llangollen Special (KLS) says it hopes to ask a judge to examine whether there is a case to put before the High Court examining the way permission was granted last year for the 20,000 square foot store on land off the A5 currently occupied by the Dobson & Crowther printworks.
The controversial plan has split public opinion in the town.
Llangollen Chamber of Tourism and Trade originally supported the store scheme on the basis it would not include a café, delicatessen or butchers, to protect local businesses offering the same services.
Then, after the original permission was granted last October, the condition banning a café was removed by the county's planning committee.
The chamber claimed in a statement issued a few weeks ago that this move had left its members feeling “cheated” by the process.
Now KLS is hoping to enlist the support of the chamber in its own bid to launch a judicial review of the issue, and has asked chamber members to voice their backing for the move at their meeting tonight (Monday).
KLS is also seeking support for the review call from Clwyd South Assembly Member Ken Skates.
Group chair Mike Edwards said:  “We have investigated and taken legal advice from Planning Aid Wales.
“One of our members has a Phd in law and she has researched judicial review and it is possible to move to step one, which is asking a judge to examine whether there is a case to be put before the High Court.
“Step one can be taken at nominal cost, but we do have support from a significant retailer in town together with the backing of various affected independent traders in Llangollen.
“We are hopeful that the Chamber of Trade & Tourism will also fully support us in this action.
“We have made a similar approach to Ken Skates AM. 

“There are various ways of obtaining professional legal representation when we proceed to a hearing and we would be applying for a legal costs protection order as a charity and community organisation.”
Denbighshire County Council said in a recent statement on the issue: “All of the planning applications relating to the food store development in Llangollen have followed a due process of consultation, assessment and determination by the elected members of the planning committee. 

“Decisions have been made having regard to all representations received and in accordance with adopted planning policies and guidance.”

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