Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

EXCLUSIVE: Council claims Scottish Government sick-notes have stalled major business plans

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie.

A key Tayside economic plan has been delayed until after next summer because Scottish Government staff have been off sick, a top council official has claimed.

The “meltdown” means Perthshire’s local development plan (LDP) will be pushed back because officials in Edinburgh are missing targets for the wider TAYplan proposals, according to the local authority’s team leader for development.

The Scottish Government claims it is actually ahead of time but, in an email seen by The Courier, Brenda Murray told councillors that what was expected to be “a fairly quick examination” by the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals has been delayed.

She said: “The DPEA are, however, experiencing significant resource issues due to staff illness and retirements and it is now unlikely that the TAYplan examination report will be received before the scheduled meeting of the Enterprise and Infrastructure Committee in early March 2017.

“In light of this it is now proposed that the LDP proposed plan will be reported to the first available council meeting after the summer recess in 2017.”

TAYplan is the strategic 20-year vision for the Tayside and North East Fife, which local development plans must align themselves with.

It is currently being considered by government officials, who will present a report for approval to ministers.

Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said any delay would be “bad for business”.

He said: “The meltdown in the SNP government’s main planning body needs urgent action before it hits our economy and the confidence of the public.”

“The breakdown in the operations at Directorate of Planning and Environmental Appeals is causing significant problems with the planning process with the Tayplan just being one example.

“It is bad for business and bad for those seeking to appeal. We need answers from the Scottish Government on how this has occurred and what they are planning to do to resolve this.

“SNP ministers are fond of lecturing councils on their planning performance so it live and operate by the standards it proclaims and sort out this situation.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Our target date for submitting this examination report to Scottish Ministers is 8 March – in line with statutory requirements and published guidance regarding timescales – and we expect the report will be submitted earlier than the target date.

“In the meantime, existing development plans remain in place so there should be no hold-up in the consideration of any proposed developments.”

Perth and Kinross Council did not respond to a request for comment.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]