THE T in the Park music festival will go ahead this year after councillors today approved plans for it to remain in Perthshire.
Fears had been raised by health and safety chiefs over the suitability of the T in the Park site at Balado, which sits above an underground pipeline carrying crude oil from the North Sea.
But councillors today approved an application by the event organisers to Perth and Kinross council to host it again in the same spot.
MSP Pete Wishart had encouraged efforts to be made by the event organiser, Health and Safety Executive and landowners to ensure the event stayed at the site.
He said: “I am sure that officials at Perth and Kinross Council will be keen to work with the organisers of T in the Park, HSE and landowners to ensure that T in the Park is not lost to Perth and Kinross.
“T in the Park is a huge event that has a massive economic impact throughout Perthshire as well as being an important part of the diverse programme of cultural attractions this area has to offer and everything possible must be done to preserve that.”
In a report to councillors, the Health and Safety executive made it clear they would not support any plans to hold the event at its current site beyond 2014.
But it is understood any future application to host the event would simply see the three-day event readjusting where it is held at the current spot to ensure the festival is held outside the exclusion zone.
In a report to councillors, Perth and Kinross Council’s development quality manager Nick Brian said: “Although it is acknowledged by the HSE that a pipeline failure event is unlikely, should such an event occur, the effects on population have the potential to be significant.”
A spokeswoman for the festival said organisers were happy with the decision.
She said: “We are delighted that its been approved and we look forward to seeing everyone at Balado.”
Perthshire South and Kinrosshire MSP Roseanna Cunningham, said Balado had already proven to be a “fantastic venue.”
She said: “I sincerely hope that the concerns that have been expressed by HSE can be addressed but if not and an alternative venue has to be found I would really like to see Scotland’s premier outdoor music festival stay within the boundaries of Perth and Kinross, where it has established such a presence.”
The HSE advised that could not support “a further application for 2015 for large scale events within the pipeline consultation zone at Balado Park.”
But it agreed not to refer its objections to the Scottish government, provided there are changes to the festival at its current site.
The gas and oil pipeline which runs under the site is owned by BP and a number of changes have already been made to the Balado site to prevent people gathering above it.
The 2014 event will be the 18th at Balado and as many as 250,000 people are expected to attend the event, which will be headlined by Arctic Monkeys.