Clarification on Meikle Carewe letter

Sir -

Without wishing to perpetuate correspondence about the Meikle Carewe planning appeal decision, there are some points in a letter to the editor on 15 April 2011 which could benefit from some clarification.

The Government Reporter’s letter set out the fact that no agreement had been made about financial contributions, but discussions had taken place regarding contributions to affordable housing and art.

The question of a community fund is one for the wind farm operator - these are voluntary schemes and it would not be a material issue in determining a planning application.

It is therefore not the case that the decision has led to £100,000 being lost to a community fund which might have been used on projects such as the museum, and the open air pool. The opportunity is still there for the community to negotiate with the operator about such a fund.

The availability of developer contributions to offset the impact of a development is a material planning consideration, but the level and type of contributions are negotiated outwith the planning service by the council’s planning gain team.

If the committee had agreed to grant permission, then, as is normal practice, a legal agreement would have been entered into to secure developer contributions discussed with the planning gain service to offset the impacts of development.

It is important to note that the nature, level and availability of developer contributions is not a factor which is taken into account when an Area Committee assesses and determines a planning application.

Yours etc.,

Paul Melling

Kincardine and Mearns Area Chair