A PUBLIC inquiry is to be held into plans for a multi-million pound tennis and golf academy, backed by Andy Murray’s mum Judy and former Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie.
The proposals, for a £40 million centre at Park of Keir, between Dunblane, Perthshire, and Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, were rejected by Stirling Council last year.
The plans include a four-star hotel, visitor centre, museum, parkland and luxury housing, and are supported by Judy’s sons Andy and Jamie as well as football legend Sir Alex Ferguson.
An appeal was submitted to the Scottish Government by the developers and Scottish Ministers “called in” the application in March.
Now the Scottish Government’s Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA) has confirmed that it will hold a hearing and/or inquiry sessions into the proposal.
Supporters say it would create world-class training facilities near the sporting cradle of stars Andy and Jamie, while objectors have condemned it as an intrusion into the Green Belt.
In a letter to all those who have written to Stirling Council or the Scottish Government, objecting or supporting, DPEA says a Reporter has been appointed to make recommendations to Scottish Ministers so that they can make the final decision.
The first stage of the process will be a so-called “pre-examination meeting” on 21st June -- at a venue still to be arranged.
Those who have received the letter can attend the meeting, which is being held to “discuss arrangements for a hearing and/or enquiry sessions”.
DPEA stress there will be no discussion over the merits of plans at the “pre-examination” stage.
Leading objector Kathy Pidgeon, of protest group RAGE (Residents Against Greenbelt Erosion) said: “It is really important that people confirm in writing no later than June 3 if they wish to participate in hearing and/or inquiry sessions.”
The objectors - who have been accused by the plan’s supporters of “nimbyism” in an increasingly bitter row -- submitted a petition to Holyrood and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon earlier this month [May], which has now attracted more that 2,600 signatories.
Park of Keir Partners argue their proposal complies with the local development plan and point out that they plan to transfer around 85 per cent of the land at Park of Keir -- which is presently just fields -- to a Community Interest Company for creation of a country park.
Stirling Council declined to comment on the latest development, but officers from the council will attend the pre-examination meeting.
• DPEA said anyone who has not received the DPEA letter so far can contact Jane Robertson at DPEA on 01324 696467, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org