Planning & Environment

What do you do if no one can find the plans to which planning permission relates? This was a subsidiary point in the long-running case of G Hamilton (Tulloch Gribben Mains) Limited v Highland Council recently decided in the Supreme Court.

The case appears to have been an attempt (ultimately unsuccessful) by the owner of the land surface at Tulloch Ribbon (or Tullochgorum as it was referred to in the original permission) to limit the rights of the owner of minerals to develop a mine. The most extensive discussion of how the extent of planning permission should be determined was in the decision at first instance. The planning authority argued that if there was ambiguity about the boundaries of land to which planning permission applied, the planning authority was entitled to make a judgment based on the evidence and come to a view about the boundaries. The Court didn’t need to determine this issue, but indicated that if it had been directly raised by the appellants, a proof would have been required.

Given that the appellants lost at every stage, Tullochgorum may not be their delight, and they may indeed be wanting a groat. Better now to take John Skinner’s prescient advice and “lay their disputes a’ aside”.

Planning & Environment