Two huge property funds have appealed against a court decision to let a smaller competitor develop a retail park.
In December the High Court dismissed demands from Scottish Widows and Aegon for a judicial review of the planning permission granted to the £250 million LXB Retail Properties fund for a proposed retail development near Banbury.
Both Scottish Widows and Aegon through its £744 million UK Property fund own retail properties in the area, LXB noted.
But despite last month’s setback, both Scottish Widows and Aegon have now filed for permission to appeal against the High Court’s decision on the grounds that the local council failed to secure the appropriate Section 106 agreements for the development.
LXB stated that it was ‘disappointed’ by this move, but maintained that the ‘intended appeals are wholly without merit’. The fund confirmed that it would argue that Scottish Widows and Aegon were ‘motivated by commercial, rather than legitimate legal, considerations’.
A spokesperson for Kames, which runs the Aegon fund, told Wealth Manager: ‘We were extremely disappointed with the outcome of the original judicial review as we believe that granting planning permission for the Banbury Gateway will be detrimental to the existing retail provision in Banbury town centre and to Banbury Cross Retail Park.
'We maintain that there is currently an over-supply of retail outlets in the town, with several premises remaining un-let and the scale and nature of this latest proposed development will only exacerbate this. We are taking this action on behalf of our policyholders who are ordinary people who invest in property to make provision for their retirement and whose interest we have a fiduciary duty to protect.’
Scottish Widows declined to comment.