Edinburgh Marina developers blast council for using public money to fight development appeal

COUNCIL chiefs have been blasted by developers for using public money to take the Scottish Government to court to overturn a successful planning appeal.

Saturday, 28th September 2019, 07:00 am
Part of the Edinburgh Marina development plans at Granton

Edinburgh Council has launched action in the Court of Session in a last-ditch attempt to insist that Edinburgh Marina Holdings hand over enough cash in a legal agreement to pay for infrastructure connected with their Granton regeneration project.

Scottish Government reporter Andrew Fleming approved an appeal to extend planning permission first granted for the site in 2003 to 2023 – meaning a new section 75 agreement to secure developer contributions will not be required, overturning the council’s decision in a successful appeal.

The council argued that the legal agreement put in place back in 2003 is out of date and “no longer fit for purpose”. Edinburgh Marina Holdings successfully appealed permission to extend a time period for two conditions of the scheme, called a section 42 application. But the council said “it is clear that the granting of a section 42 application is a separate planning permission and a new legal agreement would be required”.

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“In conclusion, I therefore consider it necessary and appropriate to allow an extension to the time-limiting condition (1a and 1b) to 20 June 2023 in order to allow sufficient time for the necessary works to progress. I have considered all matters raised by the council but there are none which would lead me to reach a different conclusion.”

A council spokesperson said: “We can confirm that we have commenced court action against the reporter’s decision.

“It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

Charles Price, a spokesman for Edinburgh Marina Holdings, said: “We are very surprised to hear of the City of Edinburgh Council’s decision to take the Scottish Government to court over its recent approval to extend our masterplan consent. We have spent a great deal of time and effort attempting to work with Edinburgh Council to meet their needs. We believe, as does the Scottish Government in their findings, that this development meets the world class standards that we have sought to achieve.

“Against this background it seems very wrong that public money should now be spent to oppose the government’s decision. There will be no delay as a result of this application because we have now obtained detailed planning consent for all our schemes.”