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LONDON-Land Securities and British Land have lost their challenge in the House of Lords–the UK’s highest court of appeal–to a euro 1.5-billion ($1.9-billion) retail development on the Ravenscraig site in Scotland.

Britain’s two biggest quoted property developers had sought to challenge the decision by Scottish Ministers to alter the local plan drawn up by the councils to re-designate Ravenscraig as a Town Center. By allocating Ravenscraig town center status ministers effectively provided the legal go-ahead for Wilson Bowden’s extensive retail development for Ravenscraig.

The Scottish Retail Property Limited Partnership, consisting of British Land and Land Securities, believe the extent of the proposed development at Ravenscraig will have an adverse effect on other town centers in the region, such as East Kilbride, Hamilton and Motherwell.

Scotland’s highest court, the Court of Session, previously ruled that the designation of Ravenscraig as a town center in the local structure plan did not contravene national planning policy guidelines and was “not perverse or irrational,” as GlobeSt.com reported in April 2005.

Ravenscraig is Scotland’s largest brownfield site totaling 1,125 acres and has not yet been developed. Wilson Bowden has always maintained that a massive development was required to enable developers to recoup the cost of extensive decontamination work on the former steelworks site.

“We are disappointed with today’s decision by the House of Lords,” said David Smith, on behalf of the Scottish Retail Property Limited Partnership. “We strongly believe that an alteration to the Structure Plan in this completely ignores the support given in National Planning Policy to existing town centers.

“We will now consider our legal position,” he adds.

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