Retail Property - Deputy PM gives thumbs down to Freeport addition

Freeport has had its application for a 100,000 sq ft (9,300 sq m) extension to its Fleetwood outlet village in Lancashire turned down by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

The local authority, Wyre Borough Council, had approved plans to double the size of the scheme, but Lancashire County Council and Blackpool Borough Council opposed the proposals on the grounds that they would hit trade in Blackpool.

'Prescott found against in terms of need,' Freeport chief executive Sean Colledge told Retail Week. He said he is contemplating a challenge to the decision, but recognised that it could take several years.

'I was planning to invest£10 million in the extension,' he said. 'If Prescott won't let me invest here, I'll spend the money abroad.'