Claim that decision was faulty
Graham’s dairy takes ministers to court over plan refusal
Village plan: Airthrey Green would provide 600 homes
Dairy firm Graham’s and house builder Mactaggart & Mickel are taking the Scottish government to court over a decision to reject plans for a new community.
Robert Graham was furious when ministers last month refused his firm’s proposals, particularly as they were in line with government plans for development.
An appeal has now been lodged with the Court of Session to overturn the ruling which has prevented 600 homes, a school and public park being built at Airthrey Green in Stirlingshire.
The appeal has been submitted on the grounds that the decision was not within the powers of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, in that the decision taken by Ministers was based on irrelevant information being taken into account.
It argues that Scottish Ministers “erred in taking account of irrelevant considerations and/or leaving out of account relevant considerations by failing to take into account the material change in circumstances since the Reporter’s submission of his Report on 1 June 2017.”
In particular, Scottish Ministers relied, in full, on the Reporter’s recommendation that to approve the appeal would prejudice the outcome of the Local Development Plan examination. However, this recommendation was made in June 2017 and by June 2018, the LDP Examination had concluded.
As such, the issue of prematurity no longer existed, according to the appellants who argue that Scottish Ministers failed to give proper consideration to the fact that the Local Development Plan process has resulted in a Plan which continues the housing shortfall in Stirling.
“This dire situation is a major contributor to unsustainable house price increases in Stirling, a situation which would have been resolved had the appeal been allowed,” say the appellants, adding that ministers “failed to provide proper, adequate and intelligible reasons for their decision”.
Robert Graham: ‘extremely disappointed’
Mr Graham, managing director at the eponymous dairy firm, said: “We believe compelling grounds exist which has culminated in our joint appeal with Mactaggart & Mickel Homes to the Court of Session.
“We are extremely disappointed by the Minister’s decision, which we maintain placed more importance on continuing to protect a failed Local Development Plan process than supporting the delivery of much needed homes, infrastructure and creating 500 new full-time jobs within the city of Stirling and the Scottish dairy sector and £65.3m gross value added (GVA) per annum into the Scottish economy.”
Mactaggart & Mickel Group Director Andrew Mickel said: “This proposed development would provide desperately needed affordable homes, together with a wealth of new amenities including a new primary school, publicly accessible parkland and a local neighbourhood centre.
“Stirlingshire is in the midst of a housing shortfall and it is very disappointing that the government’s apparent short-sightedness is failing to see the bigger investment and growth picture that could bring real improvements for the future.”