Jo has expressed her frustration at a letter from the First Minister relating to the Lower Kilmardinny development.
Jo had written to Alex Salmond to ask why Scottish Ministers did not choose to decide on the Kilmardinny appeal themselves rather than delegating it to a Reporter. She also pointed out that the Reporter’s Notice of Intention, which signalled her approval for the development, was based on planning documents which were not part of East Dunbartonshire’s Local Plan.
The response from the First Minister reveals that the Scottish Executive decided to give the case to an appointed Reporter because it was not deemed to be important enough to merit Ministers’ attention. The First Minister states in his letter that ‘on this occasion, Scottish Ministers did not consider it necessary’ to look at the case.
The First Minister also stated that a legal challenge could be launched against the Reporter’s expected decision if there is reason to believe it is not legally sound.
Commenting, Jo said:
“It is deeply disappointing that Alex Salmond considers the Kilmardinny Development to be of so little importance that it should not be decided on by elected representatives. This is a slap in the face for our community.”
“The First Minister is right to point out that local people have the right to launch a legal challenge. However, he is surely well aware that this system stacks the odds heavily in favour of wealthy private developers who can afford expensive lawyers to fight such cases. Campaigning groups in the community cannot be expected to come up with that kind of money.”
“I would encourage anyone who is interested to read Alex Salmond’s letter at www.joswinson.org.uk/pages/kilmardinny.“