Patersons plea bargain to South Lanarkshire Council

THE Gazette has obtained a letter revealing an attempt by a quarrying company to sway the council over a controversial planning bid.

The document, passed to us anonymously, is apparently from the chairman of Patersons of Greenoakhill to the Chief Executive of South Lanarkshire Council – dated less than three weeks before the Public Inquiry into the firm’s plan to quarry at Overburns, near Biggar.

In the letter to council chief Lindsay Freeland, dated October 24 last year, Mr Willie Paterson refers at length to his firm’s past generous contributions to public causes and projects but warns that it might have to “review” this policy if the company did not receive “fair and equitable treatment” from the council.

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As the Gazette went to press on Tuesday, it was confirmed that Patersons had appealed to the Court of Session against the Reporter’s decision – just before the deadline for making such an appeal was about to pass.

CRAG member Arthur Bell said: “Our lawyers received confirmation of the appeal on the last hour of the last day. I am absolutely appalled. Our democratic process has rejected the application not just once or twice but three times.”

For more information on the Patersons letter, pick up a copy of this week’s Gazette, which is out now. For reaction to the appeal, see next week’s paper.

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