Lerwick Port Authority v Scottish Ministers
5 September 2007
Lerwick Port Authority v Scottish Ministers  CSOH 156
Shetland Islands Council would like to build a bridge linking mainland Shetland and the Island of Bressay. Lerwick Port Authority, who are responsible for Lerwick harbour, are concerned that the bridge pillars would interfere with the navigational channel into the port, and oppose the plans for the bridge in their current form. Various consents are required before the bridge can be built, including planning permission. In this case Lerwick Port Authority challenged the decision of the Scottish Ministers not to require a planning application to be made to them by Shetland Islands Council, with the result that planning permission was deemed to be granted. The decision of the Scottish Ministers was upheld by Lord Reed in this judicial review action.
The decision was a further instalment in the dispute between Lerwick Port Authority and Shetland Islands Council as to whether the planned bridge should be built. In January 2007 Shetland Islands Council's attempt to interdict Lerwick Port Authority from dredging a new navigational channel, which would interfere with the planned bridge, was rejected by the court (Shetland Islands Council v Lerwick Port Authority  CSOH 05). Lord Reed's latest decision effectively makes it 1-1 for Shetland Islands Council and Lerwick Port Authority. The question of the bridge may now be resolved by a private Act of the Scottish Parliament.
Anna Poole of Axiom Advocates, together with the Dean of Faculty, successfully defended the decision of the Scottish Ministers.
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