Last month we heard that the legal challenge brought by three conservation groups to the Cairngorms Local Plan has been rejected on all counts. We heard on Thursday last week that the appellants are lodging an appeal against this judgement. It is now 18 months since the challenge was first brought. We are very disappointed, given that this risks causing further delay in implementing the Local Plan. We do not yet know what the grounds of appeal are, and the appellants have six weeks before they need to set them out.
We have instructed our lawyers to lodge a motion seeking ‘urgent disposal’ – i.e. asking the court to ‘fast-track’ the appeal because of the delays the ongoing process creates – though ‘urgent’ in court terms is still likely to be several months into next year. We have also instructed them to pursue the matter of costs given the implications for public funds.