to application to vary the terms of the existing
Section 75 Agreements over the Feddinch site.
We refer to the two applications above, both of which relate to the
same site. These applications are substantially the same. Namely, to
vary the terms of the existing Section 75 Agreements over the site
at Feddinch. Accordingly, the objections set out below apply equally
to each application;
Grounds for Modification
The justification for the modification of the
planning conditions set out in the applications and supporting
statements are vague and lacking in specification. Although
reference is made to planning policies there is nothing in the
policies referred to which justifies the variations sought.
Planning circular 3/2012 (“the Circular”) set out the policy grounds
to be considered when planning obligations under section 75 of the
Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 (as amended) are to be
imposed. Planning obligations are only to be used when they meet all
of the following tests:
necessary to make the proposed development
acceptable in planning terms;
serve a planning purpose and, where it is
possible to identify infrastructure provision requirements in
advance, should relate to development plans;
relate to the proposed development (either as a
direct consequence of the development or arising from the
cumulative impact of development in the area);
fairly and reasonably relate in scale and kind
to the proposed development; and
be reasonable in all other respects
If we apply these tests to the present
situation it is impossible to sustain the view that any variation
can be justified.
Paragraph 16 of the Circular discusses the Planning Purpose test and
provides, inter alia, that:
“Planning authorities should satisfy themselves that an obligation
is related to the use and development of the land”
The grounds for the proposed variation concern the possibility of
spoil being available at the nearby Pipeland site. However, we are
concerned with the planning obligations over the Feddinch site, not
what is occurring at Pipeland.
Paragraph 18 of the Circular deals with the relationship to proposed
development test and provides, inter alia, that:
“Planning obligations should not be used to extract advantages,
benefits or payments from landowners or developers which are not
directly related to the proposed development”
The problems arising as a result of the need to remove spoil from
Pipeland, should the Council’s plans to develop that site go ahead,
is not a valid reason to vary the Feddinch Planning obligations in
the manner proposed. While it may be convenient for the applicants
and the owners of the Pipeland site so remove spoil to Feddinch,
this does not alter or diminish the problems which the limit imposed
upon HGV movements seeks to mitigate.
Paragraph 21 of the Circular deals with the Scale and kind test and
provides, inter alia, that:
“Planning obligations should not be used to resolve existing
deficiencies in infrastructure or to secure contributions to the
achievement of wider planning objectives.
The disruption caused by development at Feddinch was considered by
the Planning Authority when the obligations imposing the HGV limit
were imposed. Nothing at Feddinch has changed in the interim period.
The harm caused by excessive HGV movements’ remains.
In summary, modifying the planning obligations in the manner sought
by the applicant cannot be justified.
St Andrews Community Hospital.
The Community Hospital lies adjacent to the Pipeland site from which
the spoil will be taken. 200 daily HGV movements would have an
adverse impact upon the patients of the hospital. The Community
Hospital has a number of well documented access problems. Increasing
the number of HGV movement at this location, even for a relatively
short period of time, will only exacerbate those problems
Road Safety and Congestion
The road from the Community Hospital to Feddinch which the HGVs
would use includes a section of the Largo Road. This road is the
main point of access and egress form St Andrews to the south. The
congestion problems on this road at peak times are well documented.
The St Andrew Scottish Fire and Rescue service station is located on
Largo Road. The Scottish Ambulance Service St Andrews depot and the
St Andrews Police Station are located on adjacent streets. 200 HGV’s
using the road between Pipeland and Feddinch would severely impair
the ability of these vital emergency services to respond within
their respective target response time. This is particularly the case
should the emergency incident occur south of St Andrews at a
location accessed by the same stretch of road which the HGV’s
travelling to Feddinch would use.
Can the Planning Obligation be implemented?
The applicant is seeking to modify the planning obligations over
Feddinch because of the possibility that spoil originating from the
Pipeland site may become available. The Pipeland PPiP application is
still subject to an ongoing legal challenge. Even if that challenge
fails there are still a number of outstanding conditions which
require to be implemented before the development of the Pipeland
Farm site can commence. Until the uncertainties surrounding the
Pipeland PPiP any application to vary existing planning conditions
because of what may occur at Pipeland Farm is premature and
Mary R.C. Jack
For St Andrews Environmental Protection
St Andrews 26 August 2015