§ 21. Mr. Gourlay
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he was notified by the Fife regional council of Muir Construction Ltd.'s application in respect of a retail and industrial development at Mitchelston industrial estate, Kirkcaldy; when he expects to announce his decision; how long the extended period of consideration has taken; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Rifkind
Fife regional council notified me of this planning application in a letter of 6 November last. On 20 November, following the receipt of further necessary information from the council, we started the 28-day period within which I normally decide whether to call in an application of this kind. The issues arising from this application, however, are not straightforward. We have, therefore, extended the time for consideration at intervals since 20 November, latterly until 12 March—an overall period of just under four months. I require more time to reach my decision and the period is being further extended until 9 April, although I hope to reach a conclusion before then.