'Not over till the fat lady sings'!
So, our elected representatives on East Lothian Council have directly rejected the wishes of the community they represent?
There's not much else one can conclude from the decision of East Lothian Council's Planning Committee yesterday, September 2nd, to approve Inch Cape's notion to build a very large Sub-Station [2 buildings] on the battlefield.
Fortunately this first skirmish coincides with the launch of the mighty Coastal Regeneration Alliance and the great news for the Trust is that they have been and continue to stand up for common sense.
Secondly it coincides with the 4th National Battlefield Symposium to be held in Prestonpans on October 24th to which battle heritage supporters from across Scotland will be coming. Watch this space.
Immediately, however, Gareth Bryn-Jones, Chairman of the 1745 Battle Trust, has issued this formal statement:
1. We shall continue to oppose the decision in support of Inch Cape's proposal to construct its Sub Station on the battlefield by all practicable means and with the support of the Coastal Regeneration Alliance.
2. We now, under yesterday's immediate FOI request by the Trust, await details of exactly how Historic Scotland's Observations got from Significant Objection to No Objection. Who said what to whom? They're promised by September 30th latest.
Once we have that we shall present the findings to the 4th National Battlefield Symposium on October 24th to determine what steps should be taken at a National level. Is Historic Scotland properly placed to protect battlefield heritage or is it unavoidably compromised by its situation as a Government Quango?
3. We shall be applying to the Public Services Ombudsman to investigate potential mal-administration in the Planning Process procedures for the Inch Cape application after first tabling our Complaint with East Lothian Council. [e.g. Although Councillors and Officers knew full well of the Trust's campaign, we were never consulted, indeed were told: 'we did not have to consult you, so you weren't!'] If necessary thereafter we shall seek Judicial Review.
4. When the Full Planning Application is tabled by Inch Cape at Planning Committee we shall fight it to the hilt with the support of the Coastal Regeneration Alliance as evidenced at its 700+ Meeting on September 2nd at Chalmers Hall.
Published Date: September 3rd 2014