First Minister under pressure over controversial tennis resort decision

The First Minister was challenged by a Green MSP today to explain why a controversial tennis and golf resort was approved by the Scottish Government in spite of considerable opposition from the council and communities.

Mark Ruskell MSP pressed Nicola Sturgeon at First Minister’s Questions to explain why government ministers overturned a decision to reject the Park of Keir tennis and executive housing development at Dunblane, a facility promoted by Judy Murray.

Ruskell, Green MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said:

“I am bitterly disappointed that the SNP government has overturned the democratic decision made by Stirling Council and granted permission. For 30 years communities have successfully fought to protect the precious landscape at Park of Keir from property developers, it’s totally unsuitable for housing, but local plans and the conclusions of a lengthy public inquiry have been ripped up by the Scottish Government.

“This has generated a lot of public interest and I have been inundated with responses raising concerns about the decision and the future of the democratic planning process. The case raises a wider point about the rights of communities in planning, especially when democratic decisions can be overturned. Local people feel the credibility of the planning process has been severely compromised and there are implications for the current planning review.

“The proposal will not make Park of Keir a national centre for tennis or golf, it’s about as far away from deprived communities who need local facilities as you can get, this decision has more to do with appeasing celebrities and developers with deep pockets than securing a sporting legacy. It’s unfortunate that the First Minister and her government are unable to see that.”