Independent retailers in Northern Ireland are hoping for a victory in the long-running planning row over out of town developments.
The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association has won leave for a judicial review of Northern Ireland Office minister Lord Rooker’s decision to delay publication of the Retail Planning Policy document.
The document was due to be put out for consultation by the end of February. It has since been delayed to allow for the legal wrangling over the controversial decision to allow development of a new John Lewis store at Sprucefield near Lisburn to proceed.
Bryan Gray, association director, said the sector could not allow the current policy vacuum to continue as it would have widespread repercussions.
He said: “The minister needs to get this policy published so that our towns and villages do not suffer the drastic effects that England and Wales have seen, where out of town centres have destroyed communities.”
The campaign has received support from all four major political parties in the province.