Tuesday, 20 November 2012

"A9 show on the road..."

(Copied from THC web page 20/11/12)

Issued by Transport Scotland

Local communities are being urged to have their say on the Scottish Government’s ambitious A9 dualling programme at a forthcoming roadshow. The exhibitions also include information on the work going on to maintain the route, a study of the Keir Roundabout to Luncarty section of the A9 and plans for the upgrade of the Highland Main Line. They take place week commencing 3 and 10 December as follows:
  • Pitlochry Town Hall, West Moulin Road, PH16 5EA - Monday 3rd, 12pm – 7pm.
  • Inverness Town House, High Street, IV1 1JJ  - Tuesday 4th, 12pm – 7pm.
  • Dewars Centre, Glover Street, Perth, PH2 0TH - Friday 7th, 12pm – 7pm.
  • Birnam Arts and Conference Centre, Station Road, Birnam, PH8 0DS - Monday 10th, 10am – 3pm.
  • Birnam Hotel, Perth Road, Birnam, PH8 0AA - Monday 10th, 6pm – 8pm.
  • Cairngorm Hotel, Grampian Road, Aviemore, PH22 1PE - Tuesday 11th, 12pm – 7pm.
  • Talla nan Ros (Hall of the Roses), King Street, Kingussie, PH21 1HW - Wednesday 12th, 12pm – 7pm.
  • Bankfoot Church Centre, Tulliebelton Road, Bankfoot, PH1 4BS - Thursday 13th, 12pm – 7pm.
Copies of the exhibition panels and a A9 Dualling leaflet will be available from Monday 3 December at http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/a9dualling

Anyone wishing to comment should respond by 28 February 2013 toa9dualling@transportscotland.gsi.gov.uk

At least when Cameron speaks he gets a reaction

Here is a post about a very interesting   (Planning Magazine) article 'Reaction to Cameron's  'red tape- cutting' proposals')

Why does it seem to me that we in Scotland are so quiet when it comes to planning issues; just look at the response that The Prime Minister, Mr Cameron, has received after his comments:

....speaking at the annual CBI conference, announced measures aiming to speed up development and boost economic growth. Chief among these were reforms to the judicial review process, to, as he said, “dismantle some of the procedures that have been slowing us down”. This included reducing the time limit in which people can apply to challenge a decision, increasing fees for making judicial review applications, and cutting the number of opportunities to challenge a refusal of permission for a judicial review from four to two

Some of the comments from the article:

Planning solicitor Martin Goodall examines the judicial review (JR) statistics claim by Cameron is some detail on his blog. He says that “Cameron’s assertion is grossly misleading” and the JR system is not a “growth industry”, as the PM says. He says the overall increase in JR applications “has been solely attributable to immigration/asylum cases” – which are more than three-quarters of all JR applications.

Planning lawyer Angus Walker, a partner at Bircham Dyson Bell, takes a closer look at the JR proposals on his blog. Like many others, he says the number of planning-related JRs is actually quite small and does not appear to be rising.

Emily Williams, an associate at law firm DLA Piper has also warned that the JR proposals could conflict with European Union laws.

...the Coalition for Access to Justice for the Environment, an umbrella group that includes WWF-UK, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, and the RSPB. CAJE has condemned the move, warning that it could “destabilise democracy and undercut the UK’s obligations on public participation and access to environmental justice under EU and International environmental law”. Again, it points out that, among JRs, very few are challenges to major infrastructure projects, the subject of Cameron’s speech. It says the number of environmental JRs has “remained very small for many years”– in 2007 they just 20 cases out of a total of 1,981 applications in 2007.

In contrast, commercial property campaign group, the British Property Federation(BPF) has welcomed the announcement to reform the JR process that it says “has bogged down planning proposals vital to the British economy”. In a statement, the BPF said it has long campaigned for JR reform because it believes it causes delays in beginning development until the claim is heard, “thereby delaying or frustrating altogether the potential social and economic benefits arising from the development”.

Stuart Andrews, partner and planning specialist at law firm Eversheds, said:

“Anything that is proposed by the government to restrict opportunistic and deliberately obstructive judicial review challenges is greatly supported, particularly given the increasingly common tendency of objectors to pursue this strategy to delay perfectly acceptable and well thought out schemes.”

It seems to me that we are not so good at speaking out in Scotland

As always; what do you think?