Tayside and Central Scotland

Murray tennis centre developers lodge planning permission appeal

Park of Keir Image copyright Park of Keir
Image caption The Park of Keir development has received support from high-profile sporting figures

Backers of a controversial sports and housing development near Dunblane are appealing against a council decision to refuse it planning permission.

Developers behind the £37.5m Park of Keir development, which is backed by Judy Murray, have lodged an appeal with the Scottish government.

Stirling Council's planning and regulation panel rejected the planning application in December.

A Scottish government reporter will now carry out an inspection of the site.

The proposed development, between Dunblane and Bridge of Allan, included tennis and golf facilities along with a visitor centre and museum, set in a new country park.

The plans also included luxury homes to help pay for the scheme.

Lawyers and consultants acting for Park of Keir Partnership submitted a planning permission appeal to Scottish Ministers on 4 March.

The appeal document said: "We consider that the net economic and social benefits of the amended proposals are significant and considerably outweigh any perceived local concerns over the scale or type of the enabling housing element or any environmental impact of the proposed development."

The document stated that the developers believed Stirling Council "erred in its policy assessment" by focusing on the "residential element instead of considering the development as a whole."

It added: "The development will provide a platform for the development of sporting talent, outreach to local schools and clubs, and high quality coaching at all levels.

"It will be a 'sporting destination', attractive to local people and visitors to the Stirling area and Scotland."

'Strong response'

The scheme had received high-profile support from former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and golfer Colin Montgomerie.

However, there were more than 1,000 objections to the scheme and only 45 in support.

Mark Ruskell, Scottish Green Party councillor for Dunblane and Bridge of Allan, said news of the appeal was "not that surprising."

He said: "It's obviously very disappointing because there was a democratic decision made to not include any housing on Park of Keir because of its landscape status and that's in our local plan.

"Those who objected and the council can put in their own submission in response to the 60 pages that the developers put in.

"I think there will be a strong response from the community."

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