Fife taxpayers will have to pick up a significant proportion of the legal costs from the continued Madras College court appeal saga, the council has warned.
Three campaigning former teachers have lodged a court appeal in a bid to block the development and have succeeded in limiting their liability for Fife Council’s legal costs to £5,000.
That means that Fife Council will have to pick up the remainder of its legal costs likely to be around £100,000 no matter the outcome.
The revelation comes following a failed bid by the local authority at the Court of Session to force the St Andrews Environmental Protection Association Limited (Stepal) to assume the full financial burden of opposition.
Lord Drummond Young instead granted Stepal a protected expenses order limiting its liability for Fife Council’s and Hermiston Securities’ costs to £5,000 in the event of an unsuccessful outcome.
Councillor Bryan Poole warned overall costs resulting from Stepal’s action could be in the region of £100,000.
He said: “Fife Council has a duty to represent the interests of taxpayers and, with that in mind, it was perfectly reasonable that we should argue for the recovery of its legal costs should Stepal lose their appeal.
“I haven’t spoken to anyone in Fife supportive of ordinary Fifers picking up the legal costs associated with Stepal’s action,” he added.
Stepal’s Mary Jack said: “This means that Stepal can continue its campaign to achieve a better outcome for Madras College and its pupils in the knowledge that the full costs of the action can be anticipated and budgeted for.”