THERE'S shock and anger from politicians in Duntocher, and across West Dunbartonshire, and beyond after a court ruling that paves the way for the building of almost 100 new homes in the area.

Judges at the Court of Session ruled against West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) on Tuesday after the local authority appealed against a Scottish Government decision to allow 99 new homes to be built at Duntiglennan Fields.

The court's ruling was initially met with stunned silence - but that all changed on Wednesday after the issue was brought up at a meeting of the council's planning committee.

Labour councillor Lawrence O'Neill, one of three representatives of the Kilpatrick ward, which includes the Duntiglennan site, said: “It is fair to say that my deep disappointment in this decision became even more enraged during the day.

“This council collectively has made a number of decisions over a number of years regarding Duntiglennan Fields. 

“I am enraged about the decision which was made yesterday. We have been contacted by a great number of constituents who share these feelings.

“I see this as an attack on our local democracy. This was never decided on party political lines – it was about what was right for our community.”

Read more: Duntiglennan Fields: Court of Session rules in favour of new Clydebank homes

Council leader Jonathan McColl said he agreed with Cllr O’Neill’s comments "wholeheartedly" and told the committee talks are being held between relevant officers and legal advisers to discuss the next steps for the council.

He said: “I hope to seek advice from our legal officers so that elected members can make a decision about how we go forward.

“I am hopeful that we will be able to take this further and not roll over, because I believe that the decisions we have made are correct and have been in the interest of our community.”

Councillor Douglas McAllister (Labour, Kilpatrick), speaking before the meeting, said: "This is a very disappointing outcome. We will take time to consider the decision of the court.

"Our council officials will study the detail of this ruling and we will seek further legal advice both from our own legal department and externally including from our QC.

"More importantly it’s devastating news for our local residents. This development is unwanted by the local community.

"It’s a victory for the Scottish Government over West Dunbartonshire Council and our residents, and another blow to the principle of local democracy.

"The Court of Session has now backed up the Scottish Government’s decision and we should now carefully consider if we should pursue justice at the UK Supreme Court."

He added: "We have yet to discover how much the appeal process has cost the council to date.

"This will of course form part of our decision making process when deciding what our next step should be, and we will take external legal advice on that point too.

"This decision will be difficult for the public to understand."

Read more: Duntiglennan Fields: Court of Session case hinges on single bullet point

And Green MSP Ross Greer, who was part of an unsuccessful effort in the last Scottish Parliament to reform planning legislation, said the Court of Session decision was "deeply disappointing".

He said: “This is a clear example of how the planning system is rigged in favour of developers.

"The court could only rule on whether or not the law was followed in this case, not whether that law is actually fair or just.

"Sadly, the Planning Act passed a few years ago is far from fair. Despite the efforts of Greens and others, an equal right of appeal for local communities and a range of other measures were rejected, leaving communities at a huge disadvantage compared to developers.

"I hope that by the next time our planning laws are reformed, my colleagues in other parties will realise that communities deserve an equal seat at the table and that a far higher threshold is needed in cases where national government wishes to overrule elected local councillors.”