Scotland's biggest council faces new court action after rejecting calls for an environmental impact assessment on one of the nation's biggest proposed demolition projects.

The city council is already facing a £10,000 legal costs bill after admitting it erred in law over a previous decision that meant the demolition of four 26-storey towers at Wyndford in the Maryhill area of Glasgow could go ahead effectively without a full assessment of the environmental consequences of the plan.

Campaigners fighting the demolition say the action to avoid the impact assessment means the demolition can go ahead without councillors ever considering whether it should get planning permission.

They previously won a judicial review over the council's actions, with judge Lord Lake ruling, following a concession from the council, that "adequate reasons" were "not provided" in terms of the law surrounding use of impact assessments in decision-making campaigners won.

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The council said it had agreed a joint minute that its decision on not having an impact assessment erred in law only by "failing to adequately explain the basis" of it.

The minute stated that the council "acknowledge... that the interests of [the campaigners] were prejudiced by a failure to comply with the relevant requirements and that for this reason alone the decision may properly be quashed by the court".

Campaigners had seen the judgement as a victory in their fight to stop £73m development plans put forward by Scotland's biggest publicly funded housing association, the Wheatley Group.

The Herald: Wyndford

But now it has emerged that the council has carried out a re-evaluation and decided that an EIA "is not required because it has been determined that the development is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the environment..."

The council said after the court ruling that they do not accept that its original decision over the impact assessment was irrational or not within the powers of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2017.

Its previous 'shocking' screening analysis admitted there was a danger of the production of hazardous or toxic waste during construction or operation or decommissioning. This came from asbestos and construction or demolition waste.

There was a risk of accidents during construction or operation of the development which could have an effect on people or the environment.

This related to "explosions, spillages and fires through the storage, handling and use or production of hazardous or toxic substances".

It found that the development would release pollutants or hazardous, toxic or noxious substances  related to combustion of fossil fuels, construction activities and dust or odours from handling of materials including construction paraphernalia, sewage and waste.

The checkbox analysis found that many people would be affected and that there was the potential for a "significant environmental impact". The council said this was able to be addressed through its prior approval process.

There was an acceptance that there would be a risk to human health either during the construction or operation of the development. That involved air pollution from operational vehicle traffic and noise issues during the demolition period.

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Nick Durie, of the Wyndford Residents Union which is wanting Scottish Government intervention, said campaigners would be expected to fight the council's decision in the courts and are now considering the grounds.

The Herald: A previous Wyndford protest

Scottish ministers can call in any planning application at any time as a safeguard against inappropriate development being permitted, adding a further layer of scrutiny.

"The council is continuing to say there is no need for an impact assessment," he said. "Our solicitor is looking at the details of this and to see if there is a case to take to judicial review and if there is we will do that."

The Wyndford blocks have been earmarked for demolition by the Wheatley Group which wants to replace the existing 600 social housing units – only around 10 percent of which are still occupied – with 300 new homes.

The housing association say the project will replace the "dated and unpopular blocks" with affordable family homes, 255 of which will be for social rent.

The residents union and the Scottish Tenants Organisation (STO) believe the flats can be safely retained and retrofitted. But Wheatley say that it is too difficult and expensive.

Wyndford estate was designed by Ernest Buteux, chief technical officer for the Scottish Special Housing Association (SSHA) from 1959-78. He was thought to be influenced by the designs of Le Corbusier – the father of modern architecture. It was built on a 55 acre site at the old Maryhill barracks, was estimated to cost £4m.

The anti-demolition campaign is backed by leading Scottish architects Alan Dunlop, Kate Macintosh and Malcolm Fraser.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “The outcome of the previous judicial review was that the council acknowledged that it ought to have provided more detailed reasons in its screening opinion. As a consequence, the council agreed to carry out a fresh screening opinion exercise. It has now done so, and this has been issued. There has been a request that Glasgow City Council review the fresh decision, and the council is currently considering that request. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."