Decision of the Scottish Land Court

Druim Leathann Windfarm Limited (Applicant)
v
Shareholders in North Tolsta & Glen Tolsta and in New Tolsta Common Grazings (Respondents)

Case reference SLC/28/18
before
Lord Minginish, Chairman, and Tom Campbell
29 March 2019

[1] By our order of 28 January 2019 we appointed this application to be heard at Stornoway over five days from Monday 25 to Friday 29 March. At that time there were a number of respondents represented by Mr Donald Maciver who had lodged answers to the application and who intended to oppose it. However, by email and letter dated 11 March, Mr Maciver advised that, in light of certain things said in our recent decision in the Stornoway Wind Farm case (SLC/59/17), he and those whom he represented were withdrawing from the case. His motion to have the hearing fixed for said dates discharged was refused by us in terms of our order and note of 22 March on the view that, since we required to be satisfied about certain matters in terms of sec 19A(2) of the Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993 whether or not the application was opposed, it was as well to continue with the arrangements already in place. Given that the application was by then unopposed, however, the hearing concluded on Tuesday 26 March.

[2] Subsection (9) of sec 19A requires the Court to give reasons for its determination and a brief note of reasons will be issued in due course. However, since we have formed the clear view that consent ought to be granted we have thought fit to intimate the foregoing order to that effect without further delay.

[3] With reference to what is said in our order about expenses, we would explain that Rule 92 of our Rules is the one which deals with the expenses recoverable by party litigants. It can be accessed at http://www.scottish-land-court.org.uk/pdf/RulesOfCourt.pdf. What the respondents need to do now is draw up an account of their expenses, having that Rule in mind, and send it to the applicants’ solicitors. If they agree it there is no need to send a copy to the Court. It is only if the account is challenged in any respect that the procedure of taxation referred to in our order comes into play. That requires the account to be sent in to the Auditor of the Court at George House, 126 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4HH, who will rule on the applicants’ objections to the account. That (i.e. the account being sent in to the Auditor) has to happen within six months of intimation of this order. We would, hope, however that this process would not prove necessary in this case. With reference to our order awarding expenses down to 25 March, notwithstanding that the respondents withdrew on 11 March, that is in order to enable Mr Maciver to recover his expenses for attending court on the former date when the motion for expenses was dealt with.