St Andrews housing battle reaches highest level

Penny Uprichard.
Penny Uprichard.
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A ST Andrews campaigner is heading to London for the latest leg of her fight against a proposed development to build 1000 new houses in the town.

Penny Uprichard has already taken her legal challenge to the Fife Structure Plan to the Supreme Court in Edinburgh and next week it will be heard in the UK Supreme Court, the final court of appeal in the UK.

Ms Uprichard has already accumulated legal costs of £173,000 but her application for a Protective Costs Order to limit the expenses to be paid to the other parties at £6000 was accepted.

She believes previous court’s decisions have failed to understand the environmental impact the new development would have on St Andrews itself and its national and international importance.

“When my case is heard in the Supreme Court it will be nearly four years since the Structure Plan was approved.

“Last year the Supreme Court accepted my lawyers’ application for a hearing and I was given a Protective Costs Order, probably the first to be granted for a Scottish case in the Supreme Court.

“St Andrews is a unique town – ‘the most important small historic burgh in Scotland’.

“I believe the intention to overwhelm it with massive development must be opposed and despite the difficulties of the last four years I have no regrets about pursuing this case.

“I hope the Supreme Court will consider the environmental impact on the town of over 1000 houses, a science park and a distributor road, the destruction of the town’s landscape setting, and the developer-led pursuit of profit which is behind these proposals.

“Fife Council has now published the main issues report of the Fife Plan and it seems that our Green Belt, approved four months ago after a 20-year fight, may not last long.

“Whether I win or lose in London, I hope others will continue the opposition to the plans to expand our town beyond its capacity.”

The Supreme Court was created in 2009 to take on the judicial authority of the House of Lords and is situated at the former Middlesex Guildhall on Parliament Square.