The Scottish Ministers have intervened in the Dart Energy appeals for the coal bed methane development at Letham Moss, Falkirk.
The Reporters will no longer decide the appeals; instead they will prepare a report for the Ministers with recommendations, and the Ministers will make the decision.
In recent years it has been very rare for the Ministers to decide planning appeals themselves; it is even more unusual for them to step in at such a late stage in the case – the public inquiry closed several months ago and the parties’ closing submissions have been lodged.
The Direction issued by the Ministers states:
“This Direction is given because of the high level of public interest in this proposal. There was considerable interest in this issue during the drafting of the Scottish Planning Policy (SPP), recently finalised. In light of this interest and relevance to the implementation of the SPP, Ministers consider there to be a national interest that would be best served by further scrutiny of this proposal.”
This means there will probably be further delay in the appeals being decided, as the Reporters will have to convert their decision notice into a report to Ministers, which is normally more detailed, and then the Ministers will require time to consider the Reporters’ report.
On October 16, 2014