A MULTI-MILLION pound tennis and golf centre backed by Judy Murray and former Ryder Cup golf captain Colin Montgomerie may still get the go-ahead after it emerged they have asked the Scottish Government to save the project.
Proposals to create a £40 million centre at Park of Keir, a green belt site between Dunblane and Bridge of Allan in Stirlingshire, were kicked into touch by planners last year.
The plans, which include a four-star hotel, visitor centre, museum, parkland and luxury housing, were backed by Judy’s sons Andy and Jamie as well as football legend Sir Alex Ferguson.
But they were opposed by many in local communities who fought to protect the green space and councillors voted 5-3 to reject the bid at a packed meeting in December.
However it has now emerged an appeal has been submitted to the Government by lawyers representing the development.
Disappointed Judy had attended last year’s crunch meeting announcing she would walk away if the project was rejected.
But documents have been submitted appealing for the scheme to be given the go-ahead.
They said: “The Park of Keir proposals can be considered as both nationally and locally important, and will make a significant contribution to the local and national economy.
“The proposals will enhance and provide greater access to the natural environment, will improve the provision of sports and tourism facilities, and create a significant new recreational facility which provides local community well-being, health and quality of life benefits.”
The appeal documentation added: “The Park of Keir is a partnership between Judy Murray, Colin Montgomerie and King Group.
“Judy Murray is firmly recognised as a leading authority in developing junior tennis through the early participation of children in the game.
“She has worked at the cutting edge of coaching development to progress the game throughout the UK. Aside from her own sons, she has coached multiple players at regional and national level under the auspices of the British tennis governing body, the Lawn Tennis Association, and in December 2011 she was elected to lead the British Fed cup team as their captain.
“The Park of Keir proposals are a long held ambition of Judy, who will personally oversee and manage the Park of Keir Tennis facility.
“Her management and coaching team will ensure the day to day running and operation of the centre.
“It is intended that Colin Montgomerie will be patron of the Park of Keir Golf Academy with his management company IMG providing leading coaching and training expertise.
“The management of the golf facilities on site will be run as part of the overall Park of Keir centre and by the same management team running the tennis and other leisure facilities.”
Last year the decision to refuse the project was welcomed by campaigners, who said it was “a good plan, in the wrong place”.
In addition to opposition from the community councils of Dunblane and Bridge of Allan, more than 1,000 letters of objection were submitted against the plans.
Speaking last year, Judy said: “It’s taken two-and-a-half years to get to this stage. If we were not to get it, I couldn’t go through all that again.
“It’s time consuming, it’s emotionally draining and it’s very costly with all the consultations you have to do.
“I don’t think I’ve got another two and a half years in me to go through all that again. And then you’ve got two years in the build, so I wouldn’t do it again.”
A Scottish Government reporter is expected to issue a decision at a later date following a site inspection.