Co-op lose bid to stop Asda’s Cinderford plans
PRO-ASDA campaigners in Cinderford are celebrating after the Co-op lost its bid to challenge the superstore’s plans to open in the town.
Asda has been given permission to open a store but rivals the Co-op asked for a judicial review in the hope of stopping the plans in their tracks.
But the High Court has thrown out the review, deriding it as ‘regrettable’.
In a statement to the Co-op, Judge Anthony Thornton QC said: “None of the grounds of challenge had any merit.
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“It is regrettable that the claim is pleaded at such length. It is clear the grounds of challenge had no prospect of success.”
It was felt that applying for the review nearly 11 weeks after permission was granted was too late and another reason not to grant it.
The supermarket will now have to fork out £1,000 to pay for the Forest of Dean District Council’s legal costs.
Campaigner Amanda Watkins said dozens of Cinderford residents who had been fighting the Co-op’s challenge for weeks would be ‘delighted’ with the news.
She said: “I am absolutely over the moon about this.
“The last few weeks have been hard work but it has obviously paid off.
“This campaign started off small but over the weeks it has built up, growing into something much bigger.
“People will be delighted when they find out what has happened.
“Marching through the heavy rain last Sunday was definitely worth it.
“We just hope now that Asda will get on and build the supermarket.”
Strong feeling in Cinderford toward the plans resulted in a number of protests by people who are keen to see the development go ahead.
Asda is the third supermarket chain to express interest in building a new store in the town.
But not everyone wants them. Some people fear they will put pressure on independent retailers.