MSPs have said planning delays blocking the creation of a multi-million pound sport centre at Caird Park are “not fair” for the people of Dundee.
The vote on whether to build the Regional Performance Centre for Sport in Caird Park was withdrawn from the development management committee agenda on Monday night, after an objector to the proposal requested a pre-determination hearing.
Dundee City Council said withdrawing the planning application from Monday night’s agenda would allow council officers the chance to “properly consider” the pre-determination hearing request.
Labour MSP Jenny Marra noted the Edinburgh National Performance Centre, which was awarded at the same time as the Regional Performance Centre was to Dundee, had already opened.
She said: “I campaigned long and hard for a sports facility like this to be built in our City.
“Dundonians were overwhelming in their support of the centre and the opportunities it will offer their children.
“We know that better facilities will lead to more active, healthier and aspiring youngsters.
“While the Scottish Government awarded the National Performance Centre to Edinburgh, we were promised a regional facility here in Dundee.
“While I acknowledge the work that has been done on this so far, the Edinburgh centre has already opened its doors and I don’t think it is fair that we have to continue to wait for ours.
“I hope this project is not held up much longer as I think the earlier that it is open, the sooner our city will benefit from what it has to offer.”
Scottish Conservative Liam Kerr MSP said it was right objectors were able to have their say during the process, but echoed Ms Marra’s frustrations and called the delay “disappointing”.
He said: “It is disappointing that consideration of this application will now be delayed after what appears to have been a very late request for a public hearing.
“I have said before that I believe the Regional Performance Centre for Sport plans represent a great opportunity for Dundee, and one that neighbouring regions will be very envious of indeed.
“However, it is a matter for councillors on the planning committee to decide, and it is right that any objectors are able to have their say as part of the process.”
Dundee East MSP Shona Robison said: “I understand that the report on the Regional Performance Centre for Sport in Caird Park has been postponed due to one of the objectors requesting that a pre-determination hearing is held.
“I hope that this will be taken forward quickly so that we can get on to delivering this important facility for Dundee.”
A spokesperson for Dundee City Council said: “Following a request from one of the objectors for a pre-determination hearing into the proposed Regional Performance Centre for Sport and Caird Park Training Ground, the item was withdrawn from the development management committee on Monday November 24.
“This will allow council officers to properly consider the request and to advise the committee.
“Pre-determination hearings are required in certain cases as part of enhanced scrutiny measures.
“They are aimed at making the planning system more inclusive and allow the views of applicants and those who have made representations to be heard before a planning decision is taken.”
Dundee City Council has proposed the £21 million sports centre be built in Caird Park, and it is understood Dundee Football Club are interested in using the complex as a training ground.