Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Court Challenge on Plan Policies supporting Aviemore settlement

From 'Planning' here
"The Cairngorms Campaign, the Scottish Campaign for National Parks and the Badenoch and Strathspey Conservation Group are seeking to overturn policies in the Cairngorms National Park Local Plan supporting a new settlement of up to 1,500 homes at An Camas Mor, near Aviemore, and smaller allocations at Nethy Bridge, Carrbridge and Kingussie.

The groups argue that these developments "would cause unacceptable damage to the national park and are contrary to the first aim of the park, namely to conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the area".

Planning permission in principle for the An Camas Mor scheme was issued in June 2010 and the local plan was adopted in October 2010. The scheme is being promoted by landowner the Rothiemurchus Estate.

The national park authority argues that the principle of development at the site was established in the 1990 Highland Structure Plan and that the scheme will meet long-term growth needs in the Badenoch and Strathspey area.
The court hearing is scheduled to last until Friday."

Proposals for Capped Fees in Planning Disputes

From 'Planning'

The Scottish Government has proposed introducing caps on the legal fees associated with challenges to planning decisions.

Under the proposals, protective expenses orders (PEO) would be introduced that would limit the liability of a petitioner, or applicant, to £5,000 when paying a respondent’s costs, while limiting the liability of the respondent to £30,000 when paying the petitioner's costs.
The Scottish Government said PEOs were designed to ensure "access to justice" in planning disputes, while discouraging spurious challenges that could cause unnecessary delay to projects of strategic national importance.
Minister for community safety and legal affairs Roseanna Cunningham said: "The Scottish Government is committed to affordable access to justice in cases of importance, including where environmental issues are at stake."

"Challenges to these decisions can, however, have significant impacts on the economy. We are determined to ensure that major planning and infrastructure decisions are not unreasonably delayed. The proposals we are consulting upon therefore seek to achieve a fair balance between the costs to persons wishing to challenge these decisions and the potential implications for economic development."
The consultation on the proposed PEOs closes on 3 April.

For more information on the consultation, click here

Monday, 9 January 2012

So much to do; so little motivation

APTSec has reached something of a crisis point.

I find myself sitting at my computer knowing that I have so much work to do with respect to planning matters but not having the mental or emotional energy to tackle it.  The deadlines are looming and I cannot summon up the will; I find myself wondering just what the point of continued participation is.  The constant rejection by and poor quality experience of working within the planning system has taken its toll it seems; it is acting as a mental block to my continued participation, the participation which, we are continually advised, is so valued in the planning process.

It seems that over the last 5 years of concentrated effort we have tried and tried to express our discontent regarding the lack of meaningful engagement in the process; to no avail it seems.  No wonder people lose interest in the planning system.

I tried to distance myself from planning matters over the festive period in order to recharge the batteries and to be fairer to the family, but the batteries are still empty.  I know I should pull myself together and just get cracking, there is still a little time, but that is easier said than done.