Flooding claims fail to prevent Newton Mearns housing plan

Artist’s impression of the Maidenhill community

A legal bid to prevent the development of more than 800 homes at Newton Mearns has been rejected by the Court of Session.

The joint CALA Homes and Taylor Wimpey project at Maidenhill Farm is set to deliver a new neighbourhood of 834 new homes in total with pockets of land provided to facilitate the delivery of affordable housing, a new primary school and a number of community facilities.

However Colette Patton from the Newton Mearns Residents Flood Prevention Group took East Renfrewshire Council to the Court of Session for a judicial review of the authority’s decision to grant permission for the development last year.

Ms Patton is concerned that an existing flooding problem will be greatly exacerbated by the new homes and argued that the report to the council’s planning committee was inaccurate.

But in a written judgment, Lord Glennie ruled East Renfrewshire Council acted in accordance with the law.

He wrote: “It was not seriously in dispute that there is a well-recognised and long-standing risk of flooding in Newton Mearns, Mearns Village, and the surrounding area. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has designated Newton Mearns a potentially vulnerable area as part of the wider White Cart Catchment. This fact is a material part of the background to the dispute presently before the court.”

He added: “I am satisfied that the committee had before it all relevant material. The report adequately summarised that material. I do not find it established that the committee was misled, either because the report omitted relevant material or because it was misleading in any way.

“Nor was its decision irrational. It seems to me that the case for the petitioner amounts, in substance, to a disagreement with the decision taken by the committee in granting the planning application. It is well established that the court cannot interfere on that basis.

“Provided the committee is properly informed of the issues, of the material, and of the planning law and guidance to be followed, the court will not interfere simply because there is an argument, however honestly pursued, that it should have arrived at a different decision. I am far from persuaded that its decision was wrong, but even if it was, that would not be a basis for interfering.”

Share icon
Share this article: