Page last updated at 10:42 GMT, Friday, 21 August 2009 11:42 UK

Incinerator planning 'not lawful'

Artist's impression of waste incinerator
The plant will produce energy from burning waste

Residents against the building of a waste incinerator in Perth believe the local council acted unlawfully when granting outline planning permission.

A community council asked lawyers to look into the proposal to build a waste to energy plant in Shore Road.

The solicitors have stated that, by law, the authority should have referred the plans to Scottish Ministers.

Outline planning consent for the development was granted in 2006, but full details only emerged this year.

The Grundon Waste Management plans for the £100m incinerator, which include a 260ft chimney, have attracted hundreds of objections.

Bridgend, Gannochy and Kinnoull Community Council hired planning lawyers to look into the matter.

It has now sent the solicitors' findings, including the claims that granting outline planning permission was not lawful, to the council.

The community council also said it wanted the planning application revoked.

Community council spokesman David Beattie said: "Because of the compensation implications, revocation is, we know, a rarely used planning power but the issuing of an unlawful planning consent is also extremely rare.

We must now ensure that the errors of the planning department do not result in Perth being blighted for decades to come
David Beattie
Bridgend, Gannochy and Kinnoull Community Council

"It is therefore an extraordinary measure for extraordinary circumstances. We consider that if the council settles for anything less it will be extending the errors leading to the unlawful consent and failing to give the people of Perth the protection they deserve from this unthinkable development.

"This opinion is a damning indictment of Perth and Kinross Council. We must now ensure that the errors of the planning department do not result in Perth being blighted for decades to come."

In a statement, the council responded: "The situation is that the outline planning permission makes it clear that issues such as the design and appearance of the building, access, noise, traffic and environmental impact (including any potential air pollution) remain to be dealt with at the subsequent reserved matters stage."

The statement added that the case was still to go before the Development Control Committee, and that objections could still be raised.

"Objections will be fully considered as part of the planning process," the statement continued.

"We are considering the community council's claims and will not respond to them in any detail at this stage."

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