Campaigner to take legal challenge to Supreme Court

A £395m Scottish road development will be further delayed after a local resident decided to take his objection to the plans to the Supreme Court.

The plans for a bypass around Aberdeen, called the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, were approved by the Scottish transport minister in December 2009, but have since been subject to legal challenge since 2010.

Work on construction had been due to start in 2011.

William Walton, chair of campaign group Road Sense, objects to the cost and environmental impacts of the scheme. He claims the Scottish government did not follow the correct procedure when devising the new route.

Walton told the Press Association: “We have been advised by our legal team that there is a case to answer at the Supreme Court and, after much deliberation, I have decided to pursue it. The fundamental issue of lack of consultation on the fastlink section of the bypass remains the same.”

But the case, which was originally pursued by Road Sense before Walton became its sole claimant, has already been rejected by one judge and refused an appeal by the Court of Session.

Alasdair Reisner, director of external affairs for the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, said: “What you are seeing is a very small minority group creating inordinate delay in what is a very popular project.”

“It’s essential that things like this are not allowed to happen again,” he added. Reisner said that people should be allowed to have their say but major infrastructure projects were too important to be delayed in lengthy legal battles when views had already been taken on board.

Transport minister Keith brown, said: “The Scottish government has an iron will to proceed with this vital project as soon as the legal process is concluded. There has now been a parliamentary process, a public local inquiry and two clear and comprehensive court verdicts giving the green light to the road.”