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Score Draw Over Arena, Says Council

Coventry City Council has rejected claims that a High Court ruling against a planning decision over Arena 2001 is a setback for the scheme.

And it is adamant that the revised scheme including a Tesco and several other shops at the site of the Foleshill gasworks will go ahead.

The original plan approved in July 1999 allowed for a two superstores. At the time it was expected to be an Asda and Marks and Spencer.

But then the plans changed and Tesco became involved as the sole large store. The plans for the other shopping units were altered to allow the Tesco store to become bigger.

Last week in the High Court the city council was told that the process its planning committee used to change the planning permission for the scheme was illegal.

But Cllr Dave Batten, acting cabinet member (Development and Renewal) said:

“This has been an argument about procedure and not the real merits of the Arena 2001 scheme.

“The judge has cleared up a piece of law on which exerts took different views and given helpful guidance to help the Planning Committee bring their decision into line with his ruling.

“The way is now open for the Committee to approve the changes needed for a Tesco Extra and that would mean full steam ahead for the arena scheme.

“The judge made it clear that the Council had looked at the revised scheme as thoroughly as if a fresh application had been made and he did not criticise the conclusion of the planning committee that splitting the non-food superstore was acceptable.

“However he declared that technically the wrong process had been followed and for that reason alone that part of the decision could not stand.

“Friday’s ruling was a bit like a score draw really, the most important part of what we had approved was upheld and the other part of it was not.“
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CWN / Politics / Coventry City Council / 25 Jul 00

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM