Trench Wars: Questions for Councillors

As we wrote yesterday the authoritative policy document SHEP (Scottish Historic Enviroment Policy) clearly states that both Listed Building Consent and Planning Permission are needed before work can commence (click to read more).

This was also stated clearly on the planning consent itself – although ignored by The Craighouse Partnership.

This opens up a whole set of questions we need proper answers for from our Councillors.

  • Why were the planning consent and other relevant documents not available to the public on the planning portal or archives until June 2012?
  • Is it ethically and procedurally right for developers to get their hands on a consent that was approved by our elected officials more than ten years ago contrary to policy and solely for the specific needs of Napier University at the time?
  • Why have rules been bent permitting Craighouse Partnership to “activate” a consent for which they have no practical use: why has the Council been so lax?
  • What does the Craighouse Partnership stand to gain from the a consent for a university arts building?
  • Will the Council intervene if the Craighouse Partnership only build part of the scheme, e.g. the car park?
  • Will the Council intervene if the Craighouse Partnership tear up parts of the site and restrict public access to the estate on health and safety grounds?
  • Has the Council put the commercial interests of a development consortium ahead of public interest?
  • Why did the Council not remit the 01/04599/FUL consent back to committee  in 2007 given more than five years had elapsed and there were material changes (Napier had changed its estates strategy)?
  • Why did the Council discharge the suspensive conditions when they were clearly not fulfilled?
  • What “material operation” does the Council think the Craighouse Partnership undertook to begin development?
  • Objectively, why does the Council consider digging a small trench then immediately back-filling it to be a lawful start?
  • Why has the Council ignored the Scottish Historic Environment Policy, i.e. that the Craighouse Partnership required both the planning permission and listed building consent before starting work?
  • Why did the Council not obtain proper legal advice before discharging the suspensive conditions or acknowledging start of work?
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