Page last updated at 13:43 GMT, Thursday, 1 October 2009 14:43 UK

Asda to submit fresh store plans

Asda is facing a legal challenge from a developer

Supermarket giant Asda is to submit a fresh detailed planning application for its first store in the Highlands.

The firm said it hoped the move would help progress the project planned for a site at Slackbuie in Inverness.

It already has outline planning permission, which is being challenged by a development company.

Inverness Estates Ltd is challenging the consent granted to Asda. The chain said it would "rigorously defend" the approval from the Scottish government.

The outline planning application was called in by Scottish ministers and given consent following a public inquiry.

Last month, Highland Council dropped plans to take the Scottish government to court for allowing Asda to build a store without paying anything towards necessary road improvements.

To avoid further lengthy delays to its plans, Asda struck a deal with the local authority limiting to £1.5m the cost it could pay for road upgrading at the Inshes roundabout and A9 interchange, if the work was needed.

Inverness Estates is believed to be challenging the government's approval of the development on the grounds that a cash contribution to road improvements was not guaranteed.

Announcing the plan to submit a new detailed application, Asda's property communications manager Lisa Rooke, said: "It is extremely frustrating that Inverness Estates has chosen to pursue this course of action.

"However, in the interest of creating jobs, bringing a multi-million pound investment to Inverness and providing consumers with an increased choice of quality affordable goods, Asda feels that this course of action is the most appropriate way to move forward with our proposals."

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