Following four days in the Court of Session in Edinburgh It is likely to be some months before we can expect the judgement of Lord Glennie in the case challenging the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) over the 2010 local Plan for the National Park. The case challengess a number of allocations in the local plan adopted by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA). The grounds  include that the CNPA failed to take reasonable account of damaging environmental impacts, in spite of legal obligations including the founding legislation for National Parks in Scotland. The case was brought by BSCG jointly with the fellow environmental groups the Cairngorms Campaign and the Scottish Campaign for National Parks. All parties appeared grateful that the judge allowed extra time on the last day avoiding the delays and added expense of extending the proceedings to a later date.
Sir Crispin Agnew QC pesented the case for BSCG and our co appellants. Douglas Armstrong QC presented the response for the Cairngorms National Parks Authority. The Convener for the National Park Authority described   the CNPA as defending the case “robustly”.  James Findlay QC represented  three further respondents  ( developers and landowning interests)  each involved with sites where housing  allocation in the local plan could be quashed by the court.
One outcome we are hoping for is that   allocations for new built development will be quashed. The allocations raised in the case are at Nethybridge, Carrbridge, Kingussie and An Camas Mor.   The largest of these is the An Camas Mor 1500 house new town proposal in the Cairngorms National Scenic Area across the River Spey from Aviemore.
Another outcome of the judgement could  be to clarify important matters of legal principle of general  public interest;  such as giving timely and due weight to environmental concerns in the planning process.  We have consistently maintained   that to deliver conservation objectives requires timely and realistic   assessment of the likely   environmental implications of developments, applying the precautionary principle whenever appropriate. At a top tier site we look for standards of governance sufficient to ensure that serious concerns including ones related to species that are known to be globally threatened are taken properly into account.
On the final day of the case the court discussed the possibility of a future hearing to deal with some matters that may require to be resolved depending on the findings of the Court.
In what can be viewed as a David and Goliath struggle we have been deeply heartened by the breadth of public support that we continue to receive. Without the generosity of literally hundreds of people and a number of organisations we would have been unable to take our case to court.
Needless to say BSCG and our co appellants consider our grievances amply merit the intense high level legal scrutiny to which they have now been subjected.  We now hope the judgement when it comes will deliver positively for the environment conservation and the future of   the Cairngorms area that is deservedly so special and dear to the hearts of so many.

Following four days in the Court of Session in Edinburgh It is likely to be some months before we can expect the judgement of Lord Glennie in the case challenging the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) over the 2010 local Plan for the National Park. The case challengess a number of allocations in the local plan adopted by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA). The grounds  include that the CNPA failed to take reasonable account of damaging environmental impacts, in spite of legal obligations including the founding legislation for National Parks in Scotland. The case was brought by BSCG jointly with the fellow environmental groups the Cairngorms Campaign and the Scottish Campaign for National Parks. All parties appeared grateful that the judge allowed extra time on the last day avoiding the delays and added expense of extending the proceedings to a later date.    

Sir Crispin Agnew QC pesented the case for BSCG and our co appellants. Douglas Armstrong QC presented the response for the Cairngorms National Parks Authority. The Convener for the National Park Authority described   the CNPA as defending the case “robustly”.  James Findlay QC represented  three further respondents  ( developers and landowning interests)  each involved with sites where housing  allocation in the local plan could be quashed by the court.

One outcome we are hoping for is that   allocations for new built development will be quashed. The allocations raised in the case are at Nethybridge, Carrbridge, Kingussie and An Camas Mor.   The largest of these is the An Camas Mor 1500 house new town proposal in the Cairngorms National Scenic Area across the River Spey from Aviemore.

Another outcome of the judgement could  be to clarify important matters of legal principle of general  public interest;  such as giving timely and due weight to environmental concerns in the planning process.  We have consistently maintained   that to deliver conservation objectives requires timely and realistic   assessment of the likely   environmental implications of developments, applying the precautionary principle whenever appropriate. At a top tier site we look for standards of governance sufficient to ensure that serious concerns including ones related to species that are known to be globally threatened are taken properly into account.

On the final day of the case the court discussed the possibility of a future hearing to deal with some matters that may require to be resolved depending on the findings of the Court.

In what can be viewed as a David and Goliath struggle we have been deeply heartened by the breadth of public support that we continue to receive. Without the generosity of literally hundreds of people and a number of organisations we would have been unable to take our case to court.

Needless to say BSCG and our co appellants consider our grievances amply merit the intense high level legal scrutiny to which they have now been subjected.  We now hope the judgement when it comes will deliver positively for the environment conservation and the future of   the Cairngorms area that is deservedly so special and dear to the hearts of so many.

Friends of the Earth Scotland are understood to be the first Scottish NGO to intervene in a case at the UK Supreme Court. The organisation took the decision to intervene in a case involving pleural plaque sufferers. This case   provided an opportunity to challenge the restrictive interpretation that courts in Scotland have sometimes placed on 'title and interest', which is the Scots Law test of standing: the right to have your case heard by the court. Despite supporting the involvement of the pleural plaque sufferers, the Scottish Government opposed Friends of the Earth Scotland's intervention.
Significantly the court ruling upheld the right of campaign groups to have cases heard in a Scottish court soley on public interest grounds.
Title and interest' has been an issue in a number of high-profile environmental cases in recent months such as when local resident, Molly Forbes, was deemed not to have 'title and interest' in her judicial review against Donald Trump and Aberdeenshire Council.
In championing access to environmental justice Friends of the Earth Scotland have called on the Scottish government to make it easier for breaches of environmental law and poor decisions to be challenged. Friends of the Earth Scotland is part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups - covering every continent. BSCG welcomes support from Friends of the Earth Scotland for our fight for environmental justice in the Cairngorms National Park.

Access to environmental justice is featured in the 2011  Autumn/ Winter issue of the Friends of the Earth supporters magazine 'What On Earth'

Friends of the Earth Scotland are understood to be the first Scottish NGO to intervene in a case at the UK Supreme Court. The organisation took the decision to intervene in a case involving pleural plaque sufferers. This case   provided an opportunity to challenge the restrictive interpretation that courts in Scotland have sometimes placed on 'title and interest', which is the Scots Law test of standing: the right to have your case heard by the court. Despite supporting the involvement of the pleural plaque sufferers, the Scottish Government opposed Friends of the Earth Scotland's intervention.

Significantly the court ruling upheld the right of campaign groups to have cases heard in a Scottish court soley on public interest grounds.

Title and interest' has been an issue in a number of high-profile environmental cases in recent months such as when local resident, Molly Forbes, was deemed not to have 'title and interest' in her judicial review against Donald Trump and Aberdeenshire Council. 

In championing access to environmental justice Friends of the Earth Scotland have called on the Scottish government to make it easier for breaches of environmental law and poor decisions to be challenged. Friends of the Earth Scotland is part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups - covering every continent. BSCG welcomes support from Friends of the Earth Scotland for our fight for environmental justice in the Cairngorms National Park.

BSCG has joined with the Cairngorms Campaign and the Scottish Campaign for National Parks in a legal challenge to the Cairngorms National Park Local Plan, because of the allocations for excessive number of housing developments within it. We consider that these developments would cause unacceptable damage to the national park and are contrary to the first aim of the park, namely to conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the area.
Legal action is serious and expensive: we need to raise £50,000 to cover the cost of the court hearing, which is scheduled for January 2012. Please read our appeal leaflet here:[attached .pdf '111001 FINAL Legal Challenge ... etc]. All donations are most gratefully received and can be made as detailed in the appeal leaflet, or by clicking the 'Donate' button to the right.
The two Scottish Government Reporters' Report of the Local Plan Inquiry, mentioned in the appeal leaflet, can be found here: [attached .pdf '091216 Reporters' Report CNPA Paper. 1466']

An Camas Mòr

BSCG has joined with the Cairngorms Campaign and the Scottish Campaign for National Parks in a legal challenge to the Cairngorms National Park Local Plan, because of the allocations for excessive number of housing developments within it. We consider that these developments would cause unacceptable damage to the national park and are contrary to the first aim of the park, namely to conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the area. 

Legal action is serious and expensive: we need to raise £50,000 to cover the cost of the court hearing, which is scheduled for January 2012. Please read our appeal leaflet. All donations are most gratefully received and can be made as detailed in the appeal leaflet, or by clicking the 'Donate' button to the right. 

The two Scottish Government Reporters' Report of the Local Plan Inquiry, mentioned in the appeal leaflet, can be found here: 091216 Reporters' Report CNPA Paper. 1466.

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We urge Highland Ward 21 voters to let  Mary Scanlon  Highland list MSP know the environment is a top concern by completing this short feedback form.

Taxpayer faces bill for appeal (PDF link)
Strathspey and Badenoch Herald, 26 January 2011
The chairman of the Cairngorms National Park Authority's planning committe has said that a legal challenge to thier planning blueprint will cost the taxpayer. 

In April 2010 the lIberal Democrats pledged to put protecting the environment at the heart of government Nick Clegg said then the next government will be the last that is able to stop "dangerous" climate change.

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Nick Clegg in Strathspey on 20 January 2011.

In his maiden speech on 19 May 2005  in Westminster  Danny Alexander said "the current reality of climate change are all too apparent to my constituents, not least because they are highly visible through the fortunes of the Scottish ski industry".

Danny Alexander also used his maiden speech to say: "Clearly, the need to develop the tourist industry further must be accommodated in such a way that it does not at the same time undermine the natural features that attract the visitors in the first place. We must not kill the goose that lays the golden egg".

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Danny Alexander in Boat of Garten Village Hall 20 January 2011.

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