‘Serious’ delay fears for Debenhams plans

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The leader of Rugby Borough Council has raised concerns about potential delays to Debenhams and the redevelopment of Elliott’s Field Retail Park.

Planning permission was granted for the multi-million redevelopment of Elliott’s Field Retail Park in Leicester Road in May – to include a flagship Debenhams store.

It was expected that it would be complete by 2015.

But there could be delays to the project due to legal proceedings that have begun since councillors approved the plans

Speaking at a borough council meeting last week, the leader Cllr Craig Humphrey said: “Unfortunately, a commercial objector to the scheme who failed in a bid to persuade the Secretary of State to call-in the application is now attempting to have it judicially reviewed.

“My fear is that this could cause serious delay – my hope is that we will be able to overcome it.”

A judicial review is a type of court proceeding in which a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body.

A spokesman for Rugby Borough Council said: “Unfortunately, we are unable to give any further information until the legal situation becomes clear.”

Hammerson, which owns the retail park, said it was delighted at the time planning permission was approved.

As well as Debenhams, the retail park will provide several shops, cafes, restaurants and car parking.

The current units will be demolished to make way for the new ones.

Pizza Hut and Halfords will remain on the site in the current units.

Next has been confirmed as one of the retailers in one of the new units.

This week a spokesman for Hammerson said: “We are monitoring the situation.

“We don’t have anything further to add at this point.”