The developer behind an ambitious scheme for an eco-camp in Perthshire has confirmed his proposal is not “dead and buried” despite it being withdrawn from the planning table.
Steven Mackie, of Eco Scotland Ltd, said he is currently “reassessing” his thoughts on the plan, which was based around 60 tent pitches, 25 camping pods, eight holiday lodges and a children’s play park being built on a 7.3 hectare site at Kinvaid Farm, Moneydie.
The plan would also have seen a toilet/catering block, reception building, community hub, maintenance store, car parking and landscaping located at the rural site.
Mr Mackie had previously suggested the plan would provide eco self-catering in the camping pods, giving short-term and package accommodation in both its pods and tent pitches. A supporting statement had claimed the planning application would lead to an ‘environmentally friendly’ campsite, providing a mixture of tent pitches, pods and lodges for guests.
However, the plan prompted 20 objections from neighbouring residents and Tony Maric, Perth and Kinross Council’s transport planning officer, expressed his concerns, stating he would like to see a travel plan framework for the eco-camp proposal.
Last week, it was announced that Mr Mackie had decided to withdraw the plan for the eco-camp, mainly on the basis of addressing various issues that had been flagged up regarding the planning application.
These included hard hitting comments from David Williamson, a biodiversity officer with Perth and Kinross Council, who raised concerns about the potential impact on a series of wildlife that inhabit the Moneydie area, including Pipistrelle bats, swifts, house martins, a yellowhammer bird, a song thrush and barn owls
In a report submitted to the local authority regarding an eco-camp biodiversity report, Mr Williamson said: “I would expect the change of use of the site from open rough grassland to essentially a built leisure facility with almost 100 people expected to be on site will result in the permanent loss of barn owls and while there may be other suitable habitats elsewhere in the vicinity, the loss should not be discounted.”
Mr Mackie conceded he will be “reassessing” his thoughts on the eco-camp plan and admitted the proposal is currently “in limbo.”
“We’re not really moving forward with the plan at the moment but I will be sitting down with my architect to produce a plan that will benefit the local and wider area, especially in terms of tourism,” he said.
“I will be taking into account all the comments made about the application and discussing the proposals with the community and the council.”
However, he stated the plan may well resurface in the future.
“The eco-camp plan is not dead and buried,” he added.
“I want to reconsider all my options to develop the eco-camp site at Kinvaid Farm and address the issues which have been raised as part of the planning application process.”