A Scottish Government employee has ruled Perth and Kinross Council was wrong to refuse a land-owning partnership a permit to move 1500 tonnes of soil from a farm in Errol to another one eight miles away.
The Morris Leslie Partnership notified the local authority it wanted to transfer soil from East Leys Farm to Gracefield and Gairndrum Farm in St Martins and use it to grow crops late last year.
However, PKC refused to grant the partnership a certificate of lawfulness for the transfer arguing the proposed activity at both farms went beyond regular permitted development rights.
Law company Brodies LLP then asked the government to consider overturning the council’s decision on behalf of Morris Leslie in April this year arguing officials had “failed to understand the nature of the application and their duties in respect of the application”.
Brodies LLP told the government’s Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA) in their appeal form: “The council’s report of handling states that the activity at East Leys Farm, Errol is the ‘extraction and movement of unverified inert sub-soil’.
“However, the application does not include the extraction works and are therefore irrelevant to the determination.
“Accordingly, the council has misunderstood the nature of the development and erred in its assessment of the application of the permitted development rights to the removal of the soil from East Leys Farm as part of the
Now a reporter working for the DPEA has reviewed all of the material associated with the dispute and decided the Morris Leslie Partnership ought to have been granted a certificate of lawfulness for the transfer under the 1992 Order.
The reporter said: “I have concluded that the lawfulness of the proposed development sought in the appeal falls comfortably within the scope of [the order] which, amongst other things, allows the carrying out on agricultural land comprised in an agricultural unit of engineering operations that are requisite for the purposes of agriculture within that unit.”