A COUNCILLOR who argued for a Neilston farmer’s planning application to be knocked back is under investigation following a formal complaint, it has been confirmed.

Conservative councillor Stewart Miller put forward a motion to refuse Gordon Pollock’s application to build a house on his family’s land at a planning committee meeting in December.

Mr Pollock, a former soldier who was wounded in Afghanistan, had hoped to build an agricultural worker’s house on his family’s land near Mossneuk Farm, in an effort to expand the business.

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Council planning officers recommended the application be granted, but Councillor Miller, himself a farmer, motioned to refuse it, describing it as “rubbish” and adding he was “angry that this should even be considered.” 

He was supported by two other members and the application was refused.

However, Mr Pollock made a formal complaint to the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland, alleging Councillor Miller’s comments had been “highly unprofessional” and that he had an undeclared interest.

He alleged Councillor Miller had friendships with neighbouring farmers who objected to the proposal and therefore should not have participated in proceedings.

Helen Hayne, investigations manager for the ethics ombudsman, last week wrote to Mr Pollock, saying: “We have given initial consideration to the information you have provided and have referred your complaint to an investigating officer to take forward.”

Mr Pollock’s application for permission for the house – which he has said is central to his family’s business as it will allow him to take over from his father, who is in poor health – has been resubmitted to the council.

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It is due to be considered at a meeting of the planning committee today, at which Councillor Miller is expected to be present.

The Council has said the investigation will have no effect on his ability to participate.

Councillor Miller previously told the Barrhead News he had no conflict of interest in the case.

He said: “I have no idea who the objectors are when we consider an application. 

“The application they submitted was all wrong in more or less every respect. The house they want to build is in the wrong place.”