COUNCIL bosses are scrambling to re-jig their 'materially flawed' local development plan in the wake of a landmark court ruling which has created 'turmoil' within the Municipal Buildings.

An entire chapter of the document — on which work began four years ago — was rejected by the Court of Session in July after housebuilders took the council to task over the supply of land and targets for new homes.

Now the local authority has set itself an 'ambitious' timescale to complete a root and branch review of that section of the local development plan (LDP) and have a new policy in place by April 2022.

As a result of the court ruling the council currently has an adopted LDP which has no housing policy.

A report for a meeting of the environment and regeneration committee stated: "The appeal places the council in a difficult position in respect of planning applications for housing."

Planning boss Stuart Jamieson went further during the meeting and described the situation as 'turmoil' for the council.

Developer Gladman had argued a specific housing shortfall at Carsemeadow in Quarrier's Village and the Court of Session suggested that if the company's figures were correct, the balance in favour of development 'may be very substantial'.

The court ruled that the council's policy within the homes and communities section of its LDP was 'materially flawed' under the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997.

Scottish ministers have decided not to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

Councillor Graeme Brooks questioned the council's ability to complete the necessary work within the 19-month timescale, stating: "I wonder if we have the staff capacity to deliver to that timetable."

Mr Jamieson conceded: "It is a very ambitious and very tight timescale."

But he added: "I believe that I have sufficient staff to be able to deal with this."

Meanwhile, the council is set to submit the rest of its LDP to Scottish ministers.

Mr Jamieson said: "Despite the turmoil the previous report creates, back to normal business.

"We'll be submitting the document for consideration by Scottish ministers having had clarification that they believe that, despite the fact that the homes and communities chapter has been quashed, there is still merit in them considering it."

The committee has agreed to set up a 'sounding board' made up of between five and seven councillors to oversee the steps towards finalisation of the missing section of the LDP.