Council rejects £1.3bn Dall Estate resort bid

Image caption, The developers believed their plans would have created hundreds of jobs

Controversial plans to build a luxury resort at Loch Rannoch in Perthshire have been rejected by Perth and Kinross Council.

Developers had planned to spend £1.3bn building a hotel, two golf courses and a golf club house on the Dall Estate.

The scheme had been opposed by conservation organisations including Scottish Natural Heritage, the RSPB and the Woodland Trust.

The decision to reject the plans was taken at a special council meeting.

Developers Dall Estate and M James Developments had said the proposals would create hundreds of new jobs for the area if approved.

But parts of the site were designated among the River Tay Special Area of Conservation and the Black Wood of Rannoch Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Otters, capercaillie and red squirrels also live in the area.

Planning officials said the resort would be against national policy and guidance, including on conservation.

Christina Byrne of the Woodland Trust welcomed the decision by councillors to reject the application, which she said would have destroyed a section of one of the last wildernesses in the British Isles.

She said: "This is the biggest individual threat to a woodland that the Woodland Trust has ever encountered.

"The Woodland Trust is delighted with Perth and Kinross Council's decision to reject this planning proposal, and demonstrate their commitment to preserving their fantastic woodlands for the future.

"Safeguarding these irreplaceable habitats is vital.

"In woodland terms this site is immensely important as it is a natural extension of the Black Wood and this development would have destroyed the protective buffer it provides."

The proposal included shops, a clubhouse and loch-side accommodation on a 430-hectare site.

Proposed membership fees were £2m, plus annual dues of £500,000.

The applicant is allowed to appeal against the decision or submit a revised application.

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