Dairy firm lodges Court of Session appeal over Stirling planning rejection

Graham’s The Family Dairy, in partnership with Mactaggart & Mickel Homes, has lodged an appeal to the Court of Session to overturn the decision by Scottish Ministers to refuse planning permission to redevelop Airthrey Green in Stirling.

Proposals to deliver 600 homes, a new primary school and public park on land at Airthrey Kerse was dismissed by the Scottish Government in June.

The appeal was 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, the appellants claim that 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 dairy company has argued that the issue of prematurity no longer existed, and furthermore, 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.

Graham’s said 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.

The appeal also highlights that Ministers failed to provide “proper, adequate and intelligible reasons for their decision”, the firm added.

150 affordable units were included in the Airthrey Kerse planning application.

Robert Graham, Graham’s the Family Dairy managing director, 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, added: “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.”

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