BLACKBURN and Hyndburn’s councils and MPs have reacted with anger and disappointment over Peel Group’s latest legal move to expand its Whitebirk Retail Park.

The giant property company is asking the Supreme Court for leave to appeal the latest court decision backing the refusal of planning permission for its bid to include food and fashion stores in the development.

Just before Christmas three Court of Appeal judges dismissed Peel’s appeal against Hyndburn council’s decision.

They also refused leave to appeal to Britain’s top judicial body.

Blackburn MP Jack Straw said he was ‘angry’ at the company’s request for the Supreme Court to give them a last-ditch legal option.

His Hyndburn colleague Graham Jones accused Peel of ‘bully boy tactics’.

The company wants to overturn the original planning restriction perm-itting the sale of only bulky and electrical goods.

Hyndburn Council, supported by Blackburn with Darwen, fears a Peel victory would hit its plans to redevelop its town centres.

Mr Straw said: “I am angry. They have lost at every stage of the legal process.”

Mr Jones said: “These are just bully boy tactics.”

A spokesperson for Peel said: “The company remains fully committed to substantial investment.”