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Legal challenge to Ritchie's White City scheme fails

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Countryside lobbyists received a major setback this week when an attempt to block the planned shopping and leisure centre at White City by Ian Ritchie Architects failed.

A legal challenge from the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) to the planning permission on the scheme has been thrown out leaving the CPRE with a legal bill of £60,000. The local authority welcomed the move. 'We are pleased that the council's planning decision has been vindicated again, ' said director of environment Peter Bishop. 'I am just sorry that the CPREhas pursued this matter after failing to take part in the consultation process that began as far back as 1994.'

Meanwhile, the developer of another controversial Ritchie scheme, a multiplex at Crystal Palace Park, has pledged to start work on site 'at the earliest possible opportunity'. Director of London & Regional Properties Geoff Springer last week insisted that the scheme would not be reconsidered. His comments came despite opposition to the project voiced by London Mayor Ken Livingstone.

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