Community ActionJudicial ReviewLegal ChallengeNo Kingsford StadiumPlanning Policy

STEPAL – It's been done before…

Madras College in St Andrews[/caption] The local press in Fife savaged the group, claimed they were selfish, costing the tax-payers millions of pounds, were in league with rich, faceless individuals funding their campaign and so on.  You can read the stories on the links above (ring any bells? ;-). The St Andrews Environmental Protection Association Limited (STEPAL) was set up as a limited company by guarantee, with three directors.  The group raised funds for their petition for Judicial Review from the local community, securing sufficient funds to pay their own costs for each stage of the Judicial Review.   STEPAL also applied for a Protective Expenses Order (PEO).  This is a legal protection, intended to allow groups with limited funds, to access justice through the court without fear of prohibitive expenses.  STEPAL’s PEO limited costs awarded against them to £5,000 per respondent (the maximum amount permissible) if they lost.  It also limited the costs they could claim, if they won, to £30,000 per respondent.  There were two respondents in the STEPAL case: Fife Council and Hermiston Securities Limited. If STEPAL lost and did not have sufficient capital available to pay the costs awarded against them, they would have become insolvent.  Company law is clear, companies cannot trade insolvently and Directors of a company in such a position must wind up the company and pay any guarantees due.  Each director of STEPAL had a liability of £1.00 as per their Articles of Association. The petition for Judicial Review by STEPAL was lodged in August 2014.  It was the first of its kind and, unfortunately, it failed in the Outer House of the Court of Session (March 2015).  A Reclaiming motion (an appeal) was lodged to the Inner House of the Court of Session (April 2015) and the group’s Reclaim motion of Judicial Review was successful (March 2016).  Fife Council had acted unlawfully, they had not considered sites correctly, had not looked at available options and not considered the available evidence correctly (it’s more complicated than that but we’re telling a story here!). [caption id="attachment_3708" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The judgement in favour of STEPAL[/caption] STEPAL were awarded costs which had to be paid by Fife Council.  The judgement of the Judicial Review was that they could not make the same decision again – the plan to build on the Green Belt was scrapped and the council is now proceeding with plans to develop on identified sites in accordance with their development plan. NKS met the STEPAL Directors and group members in April 2017 – and we’ve kept in touch. There are many parallels between NKS and STEPAL.  The assault by local press, statements about it all being a front, claims by those for the development that the JR is pointless, claims that taxpayers’ money will be wasted, statements that we should “give up” and so on.  But we live in a democracy where groups have the right to petition the courts to review decisions by public bodies and ensure that these bodies have acted within the law. Judicial review is the only avenue open to those seeking justice in such cases.  We can tell you that this has been done before – each case is different, but we understand we have a case, with a realistic prospect of success, and we will take it forward.  


While you are here… Support for the “No Kingsford Stadium Campaign” can now be given by donating to NKS/WAEPAL. All your donations will be used to support the NO Kingsford Stadium Campaign. STEP 1:  Complete a WAEPAL GiftAid form at https://waepal.org.uk/why-claim-gift-aid/ ——- STEP 2: Donate via Online Banking:

Bank: Royal Bank of Scotland

Sort Code: 83-15-31

Account Number: 19086195

  Or send a cheque payable to West Aberdeen Environmental Protection Association Limited to:

West Aberdeen Environmental Protection Association Limited

Westhill Business Centre

Endeavour Dr, Arnhall Business Park

Westhill AB32 6UF

  The methods above are the most tax and cost efficient.  You can also give by online with PayPal:

https://paypal.me/waepal

——- STEP 3: Keep in touch Please then send an email to WAEPAL (info@waepal.org.uk) as notification of your donation so that we can keep you informed of developments. West Aberdeen Environmental Protection Association Limited is a Charity registered in Scotland SC048568]]>

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