A meeting was called at Stockbridge House (Life Care Centre) on Monday, 7th October to update those against the planned development by Accies at Comely Bank. Over 100 people attended, traders and residents were represented.
Since the previous meeting in August, we have taken the unanimous remit given then by supporters present to seek legal advice on next steps. To that end we engaged a solicitor, Frances McCartney, who then referred us to a QC, Roy Martin. Some of the Steering Group met with the legal team on Friday 4th, and the QC advised that judicial review experience shows a generally low success rate as the courts are reluctant to interfere in what is seen as a democratic decision making process. Success is most likely when there is a single major flaw in the decision procedure. However in our case, while there were numerous aspects of the Planning process for this development that raised questions about how guidelines, procedures and influence had been applied, none on its own stood out sufficiently starkly that we could be certain enough it would carry the day and lead to a judicial review decision to quash the planning approval decision regarding the development.
The QC opinion was reported to the Save Stockbridge Supporters meeting, and after some question-and-answer discussion there was majority support for the motion that, given the costs that would be involved, we do not believe judicial review to be the appropriate next step in our campaign.
However, this is not the end. Several other options were put forward by the committee and by supporters and these are now being further explored to achieve better understanding of their relative merits. We will hold a further supporters meeting in November to report back on and discuss our findings.
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