Tayside and Central Scotland

Concerns over Murray and Montgomerie sports centre plan

Aerial view of Park of Keir site Image copyright Other
Image caption Plans for the site include a nine-hole golf course, a tennis centre and 100 houses

Planning bosses have raised concerns over a Stirlingshire tennis and golf centre proposed by Judy Murray and Colin Montgomerie.

A planning application has been made for the development on green belt land at Park of Keir, near Dunblane.

However a council planning and policy consultation stated the development "cannot be supported in policy terms".

A spokesman for Park of Keir Partners said they would discuss the report with Stirling Council planning officers.

Murray, mother of tennis star Andy, and golfer Montgomerie announced plans for the facility, Scotland's first purpose-built golf and tennis centre, last summer.

The proposed facility would include six indoor and six outdoor tennis courts, a nine-hole golf course with a practice range, coaching suites and a cafe, along with around 100 houses and a hotel.

However, some local residents raised concerns about the development being sited on green belt land between Dunblane and Bridge of Allan.

These concerns were echoed in an official planning and policy document authored by Claire Milne, a principal planning officer at Stirling Council.

'Detrimental impact'

Her report concluded that the planned housing - included in the project to subsidise the cost of the sports facilities - "is not intended to meet any of the local or particular housing needs, and will in fact exacerbate affordability in the local area".

While the tennis, golf and tourism element of the proposal would "provide a degree of social as well as economic benefit to the local area", the report noted that the business case submitted was "not sufficiently convincing".

The report also states that there is no "overriding national need" or a local need for the project to be sited on green belt land, a "sensitive landscape" which would suffer a "significant detrimental impact" from the development.

A spokesman for Park of Keir Partners said it was "normal practice" for planning officers to carry out a policy review.

He added: "We plan to meet with the council's planning officers to address a number of the comments in this report and we remain confident our proposed development represents sufficient benefit to the people of the area, and Scotland as a whole, to allow members of the planning committee to approve our application."

A date has not yet been set for councillors to consider the application.

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