Yesterday evening some of the LIVE Park team here at the Park joined local residents at Port of Menteith Hall to discuss the potential forest lodge tourism development between Aberfoyle and Port of Menteith.
We wanted to share some of the questions and answers that came up about the potential development. If you were at the meeting last night, please let us now below if we have missed anything by using the comments facility below or by dropping us an email.
You can read the background to this proposal in our earlier blog about supporting the visitor economy where we outline the background and reasons for the identifying the site. Stuart and Hugh from our Planning team went through this last night then talked everyone through the process that we’ve gone through to date including how we’d alerted communities in the Park and what we’d been doing to make people aware of the consultation process.
The key point we wanted to reiterate last night is that we are consulting on this proposal before considering if it should be continued.
The general view we heard last night was against this proposal with concerns on a range of points. Concerns included the impact on the Lake of Menteith Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) along with protected species. Some raised specific concerns about the possible impact on fisheries whereas others were concerned that there are inadequate facilities or infrastructure to support a development of this scale in the area. Others felt that a development of a different scale and location closer to Aberfoyle would be better.
We spent time highlighting the further work that would need to be carried out in terms of this site. The main assessment required will be to ensure that the proposed development does not impact on the SSSI or potential protected species. This assessment will include mitigation which would then be assessed by Scottish Natural Heritage officers and the National Park’s biodiversity officer.
We were able to remind residents that this ‘Main Issues Report’ stage is the initial stage in producing a Local Development Plan (which will replace the existing Adopted Local Plan). The comments received for the Main Issues Report will help determine what goes into producing the Proposed Local Development Plan. Following that stage, there will be a public examinations held independently by the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals which will assess the representations received and the responses provided. Throughout these stages, sites identified in the Main Issues Report may be dropped or site guidance’s amended. Beyond these stages, should a site be carried forward into the Plan, then a planning application process would be required to ensure the finer details of the proposal is acceptable.
We hope we’ve covered everything off. If we’ve missed anything or if you’d like to add to what we’ve said then use the comments facility below to let us know.
There’s still some time left to have your say on the consultation if you haven’t already (now closed).