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Quad bike venture fails planning permission bid

27th May 2011

A quad bike and paint balling business in Dulnain Bridge has been refused retrospective planning permission by the Cairngorms National Park Authority’s (CNPA) planning committee, meeting in Newtonmore today (Friday 27 May).

The business at Parkhead Croft, just off the Skye of Curr road, has been running since last summer without the necessary planning permission but now operators of the facility will be required to stop operating and for the site to be restored.

Planning Officer Andrew Tait recommended the development for refusal based on several factors including the lack of a reasonable noise assessment and the inappropriateness of the development in a quiet rural area.

He said: “While we certainly do not condone the flouting of the planning system – and this is a retrospective planning application – it should be considered on its merits in the same way as any other application is.

“Our policies are supportive of recreational developments where they demonstrate good design and can show there will be no negative effect on the environment or neighbouring areas and we aim to support, in principle, business opportunities that support the viability of crofts in the National Park.

“However, looking at all the factors, the negative outweighs the positive here with implications for the natural environment with the felling of trees having already taken place, the impact on nearby properties and the tranquil nature of this area.”

Planning committee convener, Duncan Bryden commented: “Quad biking and paintballing are indeed very popular and I recognise the applicant’s enterprising spirit but from landscape impacts to environmental effects and from the lack of noise assessment or mitigation proposals, I support the planning officer’s recommendation to refuse this application.”

The planning committee also agreed to authorise enforcement action should it be required to have the use of the site ceased and the area restored as best as possible to something like its previous woodland character.

To read this planning paper in full please go to the planning section of our website.