What feels like ages ago, Gladman Developments applied to build houses in the field on Campsie Road, and to bump the proposed cemetery extension further away from the village. The planning application was rejected by Stirling; an appeal to the Scottish Ministers was rejected by their Reporter, BUT Gladman made an appeal to the Court of Session, whose decision was issued on 14 June 2019.
The Court of Session has quashed the appeal decision, raising the prospect that the development may go ahead. The court’s decision was based on a very narrow technicality about how housing land supply should be calculated, but their lordships decided this renders the whole of the Reporter’s decision invalid.
The good news is that this court decision is just a limited “judicial review” criticising the appeal decision process. It does not mean Gladman automatically get their planning permission, or that the Reporter got the wrong result.
A copy of the Court of Session decision is here in which we have highlighted some relevant parts. According to the court, the main issue the Reporter had to decide was whether Stirling used the correct method to calculate their housing land supply. The court ruled that the Reporter had not examined the question properly. Furthermore they say that, because a different land supply calculation could tip the balance of all considerations, they must quash the whole decision.
What it does mean is that the appeal must be decided again by a Reporter at the DPEA and Scottish Ministers, taking more care to consider all relevant issues. The new Reporter will decide whether to call for new evidence, and the Community Council will input if there is an opportunity.
For all the reasons that were endorsed by the first Reporter, we would hope that the appeal will be rejected again.
Housing that meets the needs of our community is one thing, but proposals like this one put the interests of the developers and landowners above all else.