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Cross Tay Link Road pulled from planning committee with protests organised outside council chambers

An image of how the Cross Tay Link Road might look.
An image of how the Cross Tay Link Road might look.

Protesters have vowed to keep fighting against the controversial £118 million Cross Tay Link Road after council officers pulled the plans from an upcoming development meeting.

Campaigners had organised a demonstration outside Perth and Kinross Council chambers against the CTLR route for Wednesday when the multi-million-pound proposal was meant to go before councillors at the planning and development committee.

However the project was withdrawn from the agenda shortly before the papers were published and has been pushed back to next month.

Critics say the delay will give the more time to formulate their objections.

They intend to bring 50 pairs of shoes – to signify the number of Scots who die as a result of air pollution every week – to the rescheduled protest in April.

The route aims to alleviate air pollution levels in the city centre with a new bridge connecting the A9 north of Scone but protesters believe the new road should be moved further away from the village and will do little to improve air quality in its current form.

Campaigner Professor Jill Belch, who organised the climate demonstration outside council chambers, said the plans amounted to the council voluntarily “harming its own community”.

Professor Belch said: “We believe the papers being withdrawn will give members of the planning and development management committee time to reflect on the many, evidence based, objections to this road, in particular putting a road which will link three trunk roads through a development when an alternative route is available.

“The demo, which has been rescheduled to 9am April 8, as we are told this is the new expected review date, is a protest against the road causing ill health and social estrangement to our Scone community.”

She said the director of public health at NHS Taysid, SEPA, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Woodland trust had all expressed serious concerns.

The campaigner, who works as a professor of vascular medicine at Dundee University, added: “In Tayside, days of high pollution increase hospital admissions for diseases such as asthma, and heart attack by 8,803 per year.

“Fifty people a week in Scotland die from air pollution, and we will bring empty shoes to the demo to represent these deaths.”

Perth and Kinross Council said it had put off the decision because it needed more time to consider the consultation reports.

A spokesperson for the local authority said: “The reason for the delay is quite simple.

“This is a complex project and we are taking the additional time to ensure that all of the relevant data provided by the consultees, has been thoroughly analysed.

“The council can confirm that the Cross Tay Link Road planning application will be considered for determination at the April 2020 meeting of the planning and development management committee.”

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