Two north-east councils are battling to overturn a legal ruling which has left them more than £7.5million out of pocket.
The Duke of Fife – the landowner behind the Chapelton of Elsick development in Aberdeenshire – went to the Court of Session to challenge an £8million developer contribution bill.
He argued the cash demand was unlawful, and last month the court upheld his claim and slashed the bill to just £287,000.
The Elsick Development Company (EDC) and Chapelton landowners had been involved in the dispute with Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Development Authority (SDPA) since 2013.
Yesterday, it emerged Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire councils were planning to challenge the decision in the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land.
Now the Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Development Planning Authority (SDPA) has applied for permission to appeal the court’s decision.
Last night, Councillor Peter Argyle, chairman of the SDPA, said: “I was disappointed that the Court of Session found against the Strategic Transport Fund.
“The outcome has, however, raised a number of important issues. After discussion last week, the SDPA considered it appropriate to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.”
Aberdeen City Council’s finance convener has previously said the results of the appeal could have major repercussions for taxpayers in the north-east, and across Scotland.
Willie Young said: “This has huge implications for the council tax payers of Aberdeen, it’s a vast amount of money we’re talking about. This will have repercussions for the whole of Scotland, that’s why it’s so important.”
Lawyers acting for the duke’s EDC went to the Court of Session in Edinburgh to challenge the bid to make it pay for infrastructure improvements.
SDPA wanted the company to contribute towards a new bridge over the River Dee and a train station at Kintore.
The Elsick Development Company said it was unable to comment as it had not been formally advised of the appeal.