Council to face planning probe
Gilbertfield fight goes to watchdog
The Save Gilbertfield movement has reported South Lanarkshire Council to a watchdog over its handling of the Persimmon Homes planning application.
The group say failures by the council’s planning department influenced councillors’ decision to pass the application for 386 houses off Gilbertfield Road in March.
Stephen Towill, the man behind the Save Gilbertfield campaign, has now asked the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) to investigate what he sees as four fundamental errors on the council’s part.
These include the council passing of a 386-house development for which the certified planning application states 237 units; an inaccurate certificate of ownership; the lack of an environmental impact assessment (EIA); and the failure to deliver affordable housing within the existing planning application.
Mr Towill asked the SPSO to instruct South Lanarkshire to halt work to complete the section 75 community gain agreement with Persimmon Homes – the final stage in the planning process.
He said: “I would request that the SPSO, at the very least, request the council return the application back for correction and reconsideration and further consultation with an aim to obtain a corrected application form, corrected certificate of ownership and which addresses and applies the council’s policies on affordable housing and includes a comprehensive EIA.
“In considering such a corrected application, effectively a fresh application, the council should be applying its own adopted policies as per its Connect strategy and local development plan.”
Pauline Elliott, head of planning at the council, said; “We are confident that the application for the Gilbertfield site was dealt with entirely correctly throughout the planning process.”
The SPSO is the final stage for complaints about councils.