READERS’ LETTERS: Where is the ‘joined-up thinking’ on planning decisions?

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Madam, – I am writing to highlight a planning anomaly in my village of Aberdour.

We are not alone in having to fight off aggressive developments by greedy house-builders, but we find ourselves let down by a planning system that is not fit for purpose.

We have lately had two very similar housing proposals go to the Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA) which were dealt with by two separate reporters.

One proposal has been rejected partially on the grounds that a future housing requirement indicates the need for new housing would not be as great as first thought.

The second proposal has been allowed, partially on the grounds that future housing requirements cannot be taken into consideration and should therefore be ignored.

Where is the “joined-up thinking”?

Not only do we have these conflicted decisions and will have to suffer their consequences, but the democratic wishes of the residents have been ridden over roughshod by an unelected individual acting for the government, not the people.

The approval in the second instance was given despite being turned down by the local planning authority, and against the wishes of the local community.

I am appealing to all people who know and love Aberdour to support us in this travesty of planning decisions, and urge the Scottish Government to pass their new planning bill as soon as possible.

William Dryburgh.

Rose Cottage, Station Place, Aberdour.


Gaelic plan a political stunt

Madam, – I’m concerned by the recent report which quoted councillor Braden Davy commenting that the Scottish Government is forcing the Angus Council to expensively re-brand their corporate identity to include Gaelic in every aspect (“Gaelic language plan will see bilingual Angus street signs”, The Courier, June 1).

The report points out how long ago – some seven centuries – since Gaelic was present in Angus and how few Gaelic speakers there are in the Angus Council region now – just 0.37% in 2011.

But the most important point is that Holyrood is imposing this requirement.

Does local control and accountability stop at the door of Bute House?

There is lot of unhappiness about what is happening in Westminster just now, but is the centralisation of power in the hands of the executive in the Scottish Government desirable?

In my opinion the Scottish Government is using public funds for political propaganda.

It is trying to create a national identity that obscures the rich variety of local character, not just in Angus.

I’m reminded that Creative Scotland funded a production of Lewis Grassic Gibbons novel Sunset Song set, as you know, in the Mearns.

Most of the actors spoke with a Glasgow accent.

How authentic is that?

Neil Smith.

St James Orchard,



Reaction to visit was unseemly

Madam, – Like many I do not claim to be a lover of Donald Trump, however I have to remember that he is the President of the United States, our greatest ally both in peace and in war, and this has been proved on many occasions.

Therefore it follows that in assaying to belittle him in puerile and inconsequential demonstrations we equally slate the high office of this country.

While we might mitigate towards the actions of the man in the street, surely there is no excuse for the actions and stances of Corbyn, Khan, Blackford and Thornberry to name but a few, who not only refused to meet the President but, in the case of Corbyn, actively joined a demonstration against him.

Perish the very thought, but Corbyn could possibly form a government and become prime minister some day, and then what?

How could he possibly meet and do business with the USA having slighted its president in this way?

There is such a thing as international diplomacy and sadly the people highlighted have an impoverished supply of this.

Personal convictions and egos need to be placed on the back burner on matters of state such as these.

As the “mother of all parliaments” we had the opportunity to endorse this instead of succumbing to childish behaviour.

David L Thomson.

24 Laurence Park,



Disgraceful PRI stroke unit plan

Madam, – I write with regard to the proposal to remove the PRI’s stroke unit to Ninewells Hospital.

This decision is thoughtless and totally inconsiderate.

It means victims of strokes from rural Perthshire and Angus will have the added strain of more miles on roads bedevilled by roadworks (notably the M90 dualling) to get the treatment they deserve.

Quick action is needed to react to a stroke.

Surely, if someone has a stroke, he or she should be taken to the nearest hospital?

Our local MPs and MSPs should be pressurising the NHS Tayside Board to abandon this disgraceful decision.

Alister Allan.

18 Castle View,

Letham, Perth.


Separation won’t be simple

Madam, – Lloyd Melville is concerned about Scotland having no “escape route” from a Brexiting UK (Letters, June 4). Inherent in the idea of an escape route is that it leads to somewhere better than where the escapee is just now. Of course, for the SNP’s True Believers, it’s a given that separation will be better.

Separation is the answer; the question is unimportant.

Indeed, the answer covers just about any question you care to ask.

If the Brexit process tells us anything, it’s that trying to detach from a larger unit isn’t straightforward and that the departee doesn’t automatically get what it wants.

The idea, implicit in the calls for a further referendum, that a departing Scotland will be dealt all the high cards is at best ludicrously naïve.

Dave Dempsey.

7 Carlingnose Park,

North Queensferry.


A saboteur, Ms Widdecombe?

Madam, – The Brexit Party has been set up to pursue a single issue and that is to deliver Brexit.

Frankly, I am suspicious of Ms Widdecombe’s motives for joining the Brexit Party and getting elected as an MEP.

Her recently publicised remarks that science may, one day, find a “cure” for homosexuality increased my suspicions.

This has nothing to do with Brexit, and it leaves me wondering if Ms Widdecombe is really a “leaver”, or is she a “remainer” who has infiltrated the Brexit Party with the intention of deliberately offending significant sections of the electorate and lessening support for Brexit?

Ms Widdecombe is a very experienced politician. She knows what to say and when to say it. She would know how to turn voters against her and the Brexit Party.

I believe her remarks have damaged the Brexit cause. One wonders which section(s) of the electorate she may try to offend next? Catholics or Jews or Muslims?

Brexit supporters should keep a watchful eye on Ms Widdecombe in the months ahead.

Kenneth Brannan.

42 Greenlee Drive, Dundee.