Judge denies Tesco permission to challenge judicial review of permits for new Aldi store

A High Court judge has refused Tesco leave to bring two applications for judicial review over the grant of planning permission by Havering Council which will facilitate the opening of a new Aldi store in Romford.

According to the law firms Francis Taylor Building, the first request, relating to two authorizations granted in the summer of 2021, raised two grounds of dispute alleging:

  1. injustice in Havering’s failure to upload advice she had received on retail impacts from an outside consultant as well as internal advice from her policy team;
  2. a failure to consider imposing conditions and/or an irrational failure to impose conditions referred to in the advice received from the external consultant.

The second request, relating to two authorizations granted at the end of 2021, initially raised three grounds for dispute alleging:

  1. failure to consider and assess compliance with a development plan policy and/or insufficient grounds relating thereto;
  2. lack of consideration of advice given by external consultants on retail data and/or inadequate reasons relating thereto; and
  3. failure to impose a condition limiting the net selling area of ​​the proposed development.

Tesco did not pursue the third ground of the second claim following a unilateral commitment made by Aldi under section 106 of the Planning Act 1990. Tesco admitted that the unilateral undertaking made by Aldi following service of the second demand had remedied any alleged legal error, FTB said.

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The set said that, as to the remaining grounds, each was dismissed by Judge Choudhury as indisputable following a contested oral leave hearing. The judge also advised that even if he had found the grounds to be arguable, he would still have refused leave anyway under section 31(3D) of the Superior Courts Act 1981.

Meyric Lewis of Francis Taylor Building was commissioned by Alex O’Dwyer of OneSource on behalf of the London Borough of Havering. Craig Howell Williams QC and Conor Fegan, both also from FTB, were commissioned by Louise Burnett to Freeths on behalf of Aldi stores.

A Havering Council spokesperson said: ‘Council is pleased with this outcome and pleased that the judge has found no basis for the claimant to pursue his legal challenge.’