Lend Lease/BDP £700m project finally given approval after being rejected by planning inspectors

The long-delayed £700m Tithebarn shopping centre development in Preston has been approved by the government.

Communities minister Eric Pickles overruled a planning inspectors decision to reject the scheme, which Blackburn and Blackpool said would threaten their own trade. The inspectors said it would cause heavy traffic congestion.

Lend Lease is the sole developer of the project, after Grosvenor pulled out in October last year after numerous delays and BDP submitted a masterplan in January 2007.

The project features 700,000 sq ft of retail, a hotel and residential units.