Inner House case considering an appeal by North Lanarkshire Council under s239 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997. It concerns a planning application by Shore Energy in respect of a waste management and renewable energy plant at Carnbroe near Coatbridge. The Council refused permission for the plant despite a recommendation by planning officials that the proposal be accepted. However, Shore Energy appealed to the Scottish Ministers against the refusal of planning permission. After an inquiry, reporters appointed by the Scottish Government granted planning permission subject to conditions. The Council then appealed to the court under s239.
The crux of the dispute was the relative weight given to local planning and environmental considerations, on the one hand, and national environmental objectives on the other. The Council’s reasons for rejecting the proposals indicate that priority had been given to local considerations whereas the reporters’ decision had treated the national need as a material consideration and regarded local considerations as subordinate to it.
Lord Stewart had refused the appeal in the Outer House and the Inner House refused a further appeal agreeing that the Council had failed to show that the reporters’ decision had been invalid. The court was not persuaded (1) that the reporters' Decision Notice disclosed anything other than a correct understanding of the Scottish Government’s waste management policy (which had been amended the day before the inquiry) and (2) that the reporters required to identify any geographical area other than Scotland (as a whole) as being relevant to their considerations.