Lodge owners have raised even more objections to managers over a Dunkeld hotel’s latest attempt to build holiday accommodation on land near the property.
Dunkeld House Hotel bosses withdrew an initial request for the location of 14 lodges in a valley behind the hotel last year after NatureScot raised an objection to the proposal’s passage.
The government agency said it had received “insufficient information” to determine whether the proposal could have “significant adverse effects” on the River Tay (Dunkeld) National Scenic Area.
Managers then withdrew a second request to position the same number of lodges in the valley later last year after attracting 38 objections from locals, members of the Dunkeld House Lodges Club (DHLC) and the Woodland Trust.
DHLC members said placing more holiday lodges close to theirs would harm the environment and lead to congestion on local roads, while the Woodland Trust said the development would have “major negative impacts “on areas of old-growth forests identified in the immediate vicinity.
The bosses have since lodged a third application with the local authority asking for permission to set up six fewer lodges in the valley, but DHLC members have again written to PKC urging planners to reject the latest proposals.
Chairman David Nicolson told PKC: “The development is proposed on a site of natural beauty which has been admired by many visitors over the years.
“It’s a wildlife sanctuary. It would be tragic to see the area destroyed by the construction of lodges which could be built on a much more suitable site within the hotel grounds.
Another DHLC member said in his objection: ‘Approval of this development will result in damage and loss to an area of ancient woodland as well as damage to an area of land well known as a location for wild Scottish bluebells designated as protected area. species under Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981).
“In late spring/early summer, the basin in the area described as Dunkeld Dell in the planning application is a carpet of bluebells.”
And another objector complained: “I heard about this proposal again through the owners’ club having had no consultation with neighbors from the owners of the hotel despite being fully aware of the condominium we have in the area. PKC’s planning department also failed to pick this up on the initial application which had to be resubmitted after our committee discovered and objected to the plans.
“[PKC planning officer] Joanne Ferguson states in the pre-planning application that the application principle is acceptable, but a justification of the impact on old growth forests would be required indicating concerns about[garding] shame even at this point. I am therefore shocked that this request is deemed acceptable and that Green Party politicians are not getting involved due to the environmental damage to the ancient forest.
The request will now have to be decided by advisers at a later stage due to the number of objections it has raised.