Heritage watchdog opposes Loch Leven holiday park plan

© DC Thomson
Burleigh Castle, which lies just outside Milnathort and across the road from the site of a proposed tourism development.

Objectors are claiming that a multi-million-pound tourism development on the shores of Loch Leven would have a negative impact on the environment of the nature reserve.

As details of a plan for 80 to 90 holiday chalets and a café/visitor centre at Burleigh emerged, locals turned out in force at a meeting of the Milnathort Community Council, hoping to learn more.

Chairman Steven Young said it had been “standing room only” in the town hall with more than 100 people attending.

“It does show that people have a lot of interest but there are very little facts available at the moment,” he said.

“We will endeavour to speak to the person drawing up the plans but there are more questions than answers at the moment.”

Mr Young said that while those present expressed “lots of concerns” some could see the positives.

“Loch Leven is a beautiful area and the prime factor why people want to live and visit here – people are concerned about the potential impact.”

A spokesman from Kinross-shire Civic Trust (KCT), whose representatives attended the Milnathort CC meeting, expressed their opposition.

“This development proposal of 90 or so holiday home units and ancillary buildings at Burleigh could impact negatively on what is a very environmentally sensitive area at Loch Leven,” they said.

“It is clear from the 120 or so who attended the Milnathort CC meeting and offered their views that there is great concern within the Kinross-shire communities that the proposals are considered inappropriate and unwelcome.

“Any development requires to be compatible with the aim of safeguarding and protecting Loch Leven and the immediate environment associated with it.

“The holiday home units would likely have the same or similar impact as a conventional housing development, possibly more so given the proposed other uses for the associated parts of the site.”

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Liz Smith MSP made a plea for local people to be listened to, saying: “The public have real and legitimate concerns over this site and these must be taken into consideration over the coming months.”

Neil Gray of Rapleys LLP, who are preparing the pre-application process before any proposals are lodged, said they had met council officials and experts were examining the environmental issues such as proximity to the loch.

He said the upper area of the site, which lies across the road from the 500-year-old Burleigh Castle, would be for holiday lodges, the middle area for recreation and the lower part of café/visitor centre and car park.

Mr Gray said it was the intention of the applicant to “genuinely seek the public’s views on the mix and type of uses desirable and feasible within the site”.

Two public consultation events on the plans will be held at the Loch Leven Community Campus, Kinross, on Wednesday March 29 from 12.30pm to 7.30pm and on Saturday April 1 from 10am to 2pm.