Nov 13 2009 by Les Stewart, Perthshire Advertiser Friday
AMBITIOUS plans for a £multi-million national curling academy in Kinross look set to get the go-ahead from councillors next week – despite being contrary to the local plan, writes Les Stewart.
The outline proposals also include a six-rink ice pad, curling museum, gym, bar, offices and changing and associated facilities.
The near three-acre site is at The Market Park, opposite the Green Hotel and to the west of Kinross Golf Club.
There would also be car parking for approximately 130 vehicles.
The planning bid will go before a meeting of Perth and Kinross Council’s development control committee on Wednesday.
In a report to councillors, Nick Brian, the council’s development quality manager, explains: “Kinross is considered to be an ideal location for the academy given its historic links with the sport – and to Loch Leven – the site of many of curling’s Grand Matches.”
Kinross Curling Trust will manage the state-of-the-art
development, catering for both local curlers and the national elite squads.
Funding is expected from Sport Scotland and other sources.
The building would be located in the southern half of the site, with a new access proposed off The Muirs.
Eight letters of representation were received by council planners. The main issues raised include:
Inappropriate location for the facility.
The scale and design of the building will be detrimental to the character of the conservation area
It represents over-development of the site.
The proposal is contrary to the local plan, resulting in loss of amenity space.
It will result in increased traffic and impact on road safety.
There will be an increase in noise from the proposal and a loss of trees.
It will be detrimental to neighbouring amenity and privacy
But in his report, recommending approval, subject to a number of conditions, Mr Brian points out that the site is outwith the Kinross Conservation Area.
He adds: “The proposal is considered to be an important asset to the town and will provide economic, social and recreational benefits and opportunities in line with the overall Local Plan strategy which outweigh the retention of this area of land for private open space.
“The indicative and supportive material submitted demonstrates satisfactorily that the site is capable of being developed for this facility.”