Judy Murray has been targeted by online campaigners after plans for a controversial tennis and golf centre she is spearheading were backed by the Scottish Government earlier this week.
Protesters against the £37.5 million Park of Keir development, which includes 12 tennis courts, a golf academy, hotel and 19 luxury homes being built on green belt land between Dunblane and Bridge of Allan, claim Murray was granted permission because of her “so-called celebrity status”, reminiscent of the handling of the Menie sand dune battle in Aberdeenshire with Donald Trump.
Ministers gave the go-ahead for the project, despite it being rejected by Stirling Council in December 2015 and by a subsequent public inquiry heard by Scottish Government-appointed Timothy Brian, after the developers, the King Group, appealed.
Posts on the Rage (Residents Against Greenbelt Erosion) Facebook page @nohousingonparkofkeir include “First Trump and the destruction of the Menie sand dunes, now the Murrays and the loss of greenbelt. The Scottish Government shows once again that it is in thrall to wealthy celebrities and has an utter contempt for the environment and democracy.”
Another says “locals must fight against this! Kings have been trying to build on this for about 40 years. Then along comes Judy Murray and she thinks that she can get what she wants because of her so-called celeb status!” One campaigner has called for a “funeral cortege for democracy”.
Last night Murdo Fraser Conservative MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, described the negative remarks about Murray as “distasteful”.
“Judy Murray is an individual who has contributed a huge amount to the development of sport in Scotland. Whatever people feel about how this plan was handled,these sorts of comments do no-one any good when there are proper mechanisms for individuals to express their concerns”
However, Inga Bullen, a member of Rage, which is considering whether there are grounds for appeal, said the vast majority of posts were not targeted against Murray.
“We don’t do that though others on our site might. If someone puts their view up there saying ‘this is my personal dream’ it is not surprising they get some insults. Some might be a little bit personal.
“Our group is a very broad-based one made of people from all backgrounds and ages and with different politics, mostly from Bridge of Allan and Dunblane.
“Personally I would say the developer has definitely used Judy Murray and her celebrity status to get this development through.”