Coun­cil to face plan­ning probe

Gil­bert­field fight goes to watch­dog

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Edel Ke­nealy

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.

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