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Driving centre withdraws plans which left residents worried about clean water access

Scottish Off Road Driving Centre
The Scottish Off Road Driving Centre.

Bosses at a Perthshire all-terrain driving centre have shelved plans for a new reception building.

The proposals for a new premises at the Scottish Off Road Driving Centre at Glentarkie were withdrawn this month, having garnered 10 formal objections from neighbours.

Glentarkie, a rural hamlet near Strathmiglo, has had a history of water woes and denizens voiced their fears that their access to safe water could be compromised by the development.

In a detailed dossier submitted to council planners by Glentarkie Steading Residents Association, objectors explained that for a year and a half, residents were without drinking water in their homes.

The entire village consists of 16 homes and the popular 4×4 driving centre, at which instructors guide motorists from around the country around a maze of tough-to-traverse tracks.

Glentarkie.

Between January 2013 to October 2014, the local authority’s environmental health department issued a “Do Not Drink” notice to all residents, who became reliant on purchased bottled water.

Homes at Glentarkie have their water sourced from a nearby borehole which despite regular maintenance, has had its share of quality problems.

Neighbours say the proposals for a new reception building could see construction work as close 50 metres from the crucial borehole and pumphouse.

The local community also rejected the thought of having a new septic tank buried so close to the vital borehole along with an adjacent parking area which could be subject fuel spills.

Bosses at the driving centre, which has been providing off-road training to petrolheads since 1989, were given permission to move their reception building, a portable cabin, in 2013, however that permission lapsed before any action was taken.

The latest blueprints, first made public in September, include a teaching area, car park and toilet connected to a septic tank.

The objection letter read: “The Residents Association do not lightly present this objection.

“They accept that they live in an area where a business operates and they do not oppose the principle of relocating existing services if it can deliver improvements to the business.”

In a letter sent to planners shortly before Christmas, bosses explained that they would be withdrawing their submissions.

The Courier contacted the Scottish Off Road Driving Centre to ask if revised plans are being drawn up, however the company did not respond.

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