August 12, 2015
EDC has lodged a legal appeal in the Court of Session in Edinburgh against the Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Development Planning Authority’s decision to adopt Statutory Guidance on the Strategic Transport Fund and this apppeal is also supported by 600-home Blackdog landowner.
Elsick Development Company (EDC) believes the Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Development Planning Authority (SDPA) Guidance, adopted at the end of June this year, is flawed as it ignores Scottish Government policy on planning obligations.
Elaine Farquharson-Black, partner at Burness Paull acting for EDC, said: “We have lodged an appeal with the Court of Session on behalf of our clients asking for the Supplementary Guidance on the Strategic Transport Fund to be quashed on the grounds that it is contrary to Scottish Government policy. Furthermore, the SDPA did not, as instructed by the Scottish Government, correctly consult and listen to the views of interested parties before proposing the Supplementary Guidance.
“In particular, the Supplementary Guidance fails to comply with the requirements that any contributions must relate directly to the particular development and must be used to offset the effects of the development making those contributions. Instead, the proposed guidance is directing contributions to fund projects in other areas.
“It is important to note that EDC is absolutely committed to investing in infrastructure that is affected by the increased traffic generated by the development of Chapelton. To date, with 70 homes built or under construction, EDC has invested over £1m in a new roundabout at Newtonhill; hundreds of thousands of pounds improving the A90; as well as a new community bus service and park and ride to provide residents with a sustainable alternative to using their car. As Chapelton grows, a further £12m has been earmarked for a new grade-separated junction on the A90.”
EDC’s appeal is supported by local farmer Colin Tawse, who submitted an application to build 600-homes and community facilities near Blackdog to Aberedeenshire Council last year.
He said: “Everyone, whatever business they are in, should be able to rely on Scottish Government guidance and there is no disputing the fact the Strategic Transport Fund fails to comply with rules set out by Ministers.
“The Section 75 requirement set out by Aberdeenshire Council adds 35 per cent to the infrastructure costs of our development at Blackdog. Unfortunately, as is the case with other developers, we must agree to this charge in order to receive planning permission. This does not mean we agree with the requirement to invest in the Strategic Transport Fund or think that it is lawful.”