Council to take action over planning breach

ANGUS Council is set to agree on taking legal action following a breach of planning permission.

A total of six homes at Old Mill Place, Friockheim, have added decking and similar structures without requesting permission from the local authority.

This is a direct breach of the legal agreement put in place when permission was granted to build these homes on land at the former Douglas Fraser & Sons factory.

The conditions were put in place to keep the two metres between the properties and Lunan Water free as building on this land would increase flooding risks.

The development standards committee was recommended to agree to authorise the instigation of legal action at a meeting as the Dispatch and Herald went to press.

Eric Lowson, director of infrastructure services, said: “Planning permissions have previously been granted subject to conditions and a legal agreement that seeks to control development adjacent to the Lunan Water in the interests of avoiding increased flood risk.

“Works have now been undertaken that encroach into the two-metre wide access strip.

“Advice from relevant expert bodies suggests that these works present an increased flood risk in the area.

“On this basis it is considered that there is a clear public interest in pursuing action to rectify this situation.”

He continued: “The development that has been undertaken is in clear breach of the legal agreement.

“It is considered appropriate to pursue legal action and raise an ‘Action of Specific Implement’ in the Sheriff Court in order to enforce the terms of the legal agreement.”

In September, 2011, Angus Council’s planning and transport division received an enquiry regarding decking and a summerhouse erected at one of the properties.

On a subsequent visits to the properties it was noted that decking and other structures had been erected without permission.

Following these visits, consultation was made with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the local authority’s roads division in its capacity as a flood prevention authority.

Both agreed that the decking and structures could significantly affect the flooding potential of Lunan Water and lead to unforseen problems with all homes in the area.

Mr Lowson said: “The decking and structures have been erected within the two-metre access strip in breach of the terms of the legal agreement.”

He added: “It is considered to be in the public interest to pursue necessary action to resolve this situation.”