Plans to build holiday park at 'inherently dangerous' quarry given go-ahead

Developers are looking to transform the former Whinstone Quarry in Kinross-shire with the remote location described as a 'piece of Utopia'.

Plans to build holiday park at ‘inherently dangerous’ Kinross-shire quarry given go-ahead LDRS

The development of a leisure park with 124 lodges and glamping pods at the site of a former quarry described as “inherently dangerous” has been granted planning permission.

Developers are looking to transform the former Whinstone Quarry in Kinross-shire with the remote location called a “piece of Utopia”.

Planning bosses said the development would “clean up a site” which has been used for anti-social behaviour, wild camping and fly tipping.

Plans include creating 114 two and three-bedroomed lodges and ten glamping pods with a reception building, parking and 10 serviced Aires for overnight motorhome stays.

Eight objections including one from Fossoway and District Community Council were submitted in response.

The site slopes uphill from the A977 with a flat area in the middle beside the old quarry and two deep water lochans, one of which is approximately 18m deep and – according to the council officer’s report of handling – “surrounded by near vertical quarry sides and a beach”.

Objector Carolyn Pleass told the committee she had “many concerns” but highlighted safety as a main concern alongside the environmental impact and sewage.

She described the quarried area as “extremely dangerous due to high vertical cliffs which appear to be unstable in areas and the deep quarry ponds”.

Mrs Pleass said: “The quarry is not a safe holiday or family destination.”

The local resident raised concern about people crossing the “hazardous” A977 to get to the new bus stops – which would be added as part of the development at and across from the entrance.

She said: “I believe the site is inherently dangerous. The suggested location of the proposed bus stops is lethal.”

Mrs Pleass added: “In my view if the council grants planning permission for this proposed development, the council will be morally – if not legally – responsible for any accidents, loss of life or harm caused.”

Nicola Marchant of Fossoway and District Community Council said they initially supported the development because “it had long been an area of concern for the safety of visitors” but were “now lodging an objection”.

She said: “Initially we had a made a series of neutral comments on the application expecting that the developer could accommodate them enhancing the biodiversity and contributing towards active travel for visitors and local residents. However, we are disappointed with their response to PKC and are now lodging an objection.”

She raised concern about transport links in the area and said “it was not accessible by dependable public transport”.

The developer described the hidden site as being “like a piece of Utopia”.

Devonshaw Leisure Ltd director Keith Davidson said: “It’s the best site I’ve ever come across in my whole career looking at somewhere for leisure. It’s absolutely gorgeous; like a piece of Utopia when you’re down in the quarry area.”

Defending the concerns about safety, he said: “What happens when you go to the sea and you have cliff-faces?

“Yes, we would have to maintain the area, look after it and obviously try and maintain health and safety with fencing and various other methods but we’re not really a nanny state.”

Referring to the public consultations, planning consultant John MacCallum said: “The majority of the feedback was positive, demonstrating more support for the proposals than against.”

He told councillors the minibus proposal was “initially to offer a private minibus operating from the site” but said the “company was open to discussion”.

Mr Davidson added: “Most definitely. Having a bus service is something we would look at and would be willing to support.”

He pledged to remove vehicles – including a caravan – dumped in the water and to deal with any seepage but said: “Currently the water isn’t contaminated.”

When asked about the creation of 53 jobs, Mr Davidson said that would be if they managed to further develop it and add a restaurant and wedding venue.

He added: “But not initially; it would ramp up”.

The committee’s convener SNP councillor Ian Massie moved the application for approval.

He said: “This application will redevelop a brownfield site, bringing in tourism and jobs which will contribute to the local economy.

“This will also clean up a site that has become a dumping ground. I believe that with the conditions in place this will be a good development.”

It was seconded by Liberal Democrat Bailie Claire McLaren

Kinross-shire councillor Richard Watters asked if a condition for a traffic island could be incorporated into the planning consent.  This was agreed and planning permission was granted subject to conditions.”

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