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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 November 2005, 17:54 GMT
Leisure park backed by law lords
A decision by a Kent local authority to approve a leisure complex was correct, three law lords have ruled.

The project in Thanet incorporates a multiplex cinema, restaurant, bingo hall and casino.

The law lords upheld previous rulings from the High Court and Appeal Court that Thanet District Council was not wrong to grant consent.

They refused permission for the Gateshead-based Noble Organisation to challenge the Appeal Court's decision.

'Commercial weapon'

Noble's rivals, The Rank Group, will run the complex at Westwood Cross.

It consists of a 3.5 hectare (35,000 sq m) development at the Eurokent Business Park.

Noble had argued that more consideration should have been given to the possible environmental impact.

But the council and Rank claimed Noble's legal action was a "commercial spoiling tactic" designed to prevent the organisation's own leisure interests in the area from being adversely affected.

At the Appeal Court earlier in 2005, Lord Justice Auld said the Noble Organisation was seeking to "exploit" the judicial review process as a "commercial weapon".

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