Court sides with Chapelton

Developers of Chapelton of Elsick this week won a legal battle on their contributions to North East Transport projects.

Elsick Development Company (EDC) and Goodgrun Ltd challenged the Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Development Planning Authority (SDPA) Guidance, on the grounds that it ignored Scottish Government policy on planning obligations.

Goodgrun owns land at Blackdog, to the north of Aberdeen, which is being developed for 600 homes, while 4000 homes are to be developed creating a whole new town at Chapelton.

The decision at the Court of Sessions in Edinburgh means that EDC will no longer pay £8m of contributions but will now pay £287,000.

Lawyers acting for EDC and Chapelton landowner the Duke of Fife said they were already funding projects for Chapelton of Elsick so should not be liable to pay for other projects not related to the development.

Elaine Farquharson-Black, partner at Burness Paull, who acted for both EDC and Goodgrun in the challenge, said “My clients have consistently maintained that the SDPA’s approach is unlawful.

“The Guidance did not require that the contributions sought from a development were fairly and reasonably related to a particular transport improvement or that such a payment should be used to fund an intervention that was required as a result of the development.

“EDC remains fully committed to investing in infrastructure that is affected by the increased traffic generated by the development of Chapelton.

“EDC has already invested over £1m in a new roundabout at Newtonhill; hundreds of thousands of pounds improving the A90; as well as a new community bus service and park and ride at Newtonhill. As Chapelton grows, a further £12m has been earmarked for a new grade-separated junction on the A90.”

SDPA have said this week that they might consider appealing the decision made at the Court of Sessions.