The fight is back on over Waitrose plans for Truro as legal challenge looks likely
Plans for a Waitrose and new park and ride in Truro are almost certain to face a major legal challenge that could stop the scheme in its tracks.
The Truro Eastern District Centre (TEDC) also includes plans for more than 100 houses, a recycling centre and a local produce food hall at the top of Tregolls Road.
But the highly controversial multi-million pound project is now facing a major threat.
It emerged today that Truro City Council has been given permission by the High Court to pursue a Judicial Review into the planning approval for the scheme granted by Cornwall Council.
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The project is backed by Waitrose, the Duchy of Cornwall, Cornwall Council and Taste of Cornwall which accused the city council of being "out of touch with the electorate".
The Judicial Review – which would be heard in the High Court – could render the planning approval invalid and stop the scheme.
Roger Gazzard, clerk of Truro City Council, said: "It would be an example of how not to develop on the edge of a precious rural market town that has a beautiful agricultural landscape setting and a fragile retail economy.
"Cornwall Council, the Duchy of Cornwall and Waitrose would produce, in a beautiful valley in open countryside, an isolated suburban ribbon of development."
Mr Gazzard added the city council would very much like to see a Waitrose in Truro but that it should be in the city rather than on the outskirts.
Rob Nolan, who sits on Truro City Council and Cornwall Council, said: "Our legal team tell us we've got a strong case, so we're not too surprised to hear the Judge say we have grounds for appeal.
"We're pleased to be able to continue the fight."
Truro City Council also agreed to set aside £45,000 for legal battles in this year's budget and is also considering a Judicial Review against the planning permission for 1,500 homes near Threemilestone.
The city council will now have to meet to discuss whether to go ahead with the legal battle and meet the costs.
Elwyn Jones, chairman of Taste for Cornwall and a partner in the proposed TEDC, said: "I am naturally disappointed on behalf of Cornish agriculture when we are trying to satisfy the current accelerated demand for local produce and feel that TCC are completely out of touch with their electorate and their attempts to frustrate the democratic planning process do not serve their electorate well."
A spokesman for Cornwall Council said: "Cornwall Council welcomes the High Court's decision to bring forward without delay the hearing into Truro City Council's judicial review in respect of the Truro Eastern District Centre.
"We are confident that the decision to award planning permission is lawful and we will be robustly defending the application."