Falkirk Sheriff Court blocking bid fails

Falkirk Council headquarters heard about the court bid
Falkirk Council headquarters heard about the court bid

Bosses of a popular wedding venue went to court last week but failed to block Falkirk Council giving permission for a wind turbine near the premises.

Three Kings owner David Cattanach raised the interim interdict at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Wednesday as the council’s planning committee gathered to consider applications including the turbine near Westerglen Farm.

The unusual move came after two council visits to the site went wrong – one after disagreement on the effect of the turbine and the other because too few councillors turned up.

Mr Cattanach said he raised the action to stop a decision being made without another site visit.

But, the interdict was refused, and councillors voted to give the turbine the go ahead.

The businessman said: “Of course I am disappointed.

“The main reason for the second site visit was to be 100 per cent about the position and height of the turbine.

“It’s not right that it didn’t happen.”

Earlier this year, Bespoke Community Development Company applied to install a single turbine near Westerglen Farm.

The application attracted 16 objections, including several from the Three Kings who said the turbine would spoil open views.

On September 29, committee members went to the site where the applicant raised a tethered balloon to reflect how the turbine would look.

But objectors argued the position and height were inaccurate.

Due to the dubiety, the planning committee decided to go back on site on October 9.

But, because not enough councillors attended, the meeting was declared “not quorate” and the visit was abandoned.

Planning convener Baillie Billy Buchanan said: “Unfortunately, on the second site visit, we didn’t have enough members – three councillors were there and you need four.

“The meeting couldn’t take place and I apologised a hundred times. I said there should be another site visit because that’s just what you do.”

Last Wednesday, councillors discussed whether to determine the application or go back out on site.

They heard the applicant was keen for a decision as delays had been costly. The turbine company also said it would not fund a balloon for a third time.

Council leader Craig Martin argued another site visit should go ahead. But his view, supported by Baillie Buchanan and Councillor Steven Carleschi, was defeated.

The application for the wind turbine was approved by four votes to three.

Baillie Buchanan said: “I’m disappointed the second site meeting was not quorate, and I’m disappointed we didn’t go back out on site.

“In my view, the due process should have been followed.

“I’ve been in the council for over 20 years, and I’ve never heard of this before.”