A section of track and a bridge constructed for the Beauly Denny powerline can stay after Forestry Commission Scotland’s (FCS) planning application was approved by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA).
Meeting in Boat of Garten this morning (Friday 17th July), planning committee members agreed with the officer’s recommendation to allow the track at Kinloch Laggan to remain. A condition of the Beauly Denny project was that all tracks built in connection with the construction of the powerline be reinstated by energy company Scottish & Southern Energy.
FCS’s application sought to retain a section of the constructed track, including a bridge crossing over the River Pattack, within the organisation’s Laggan Woods Forest.
Speaking at the meeting, CNPA Planning Officer Matthew Taylor said: “The approved FCS Laggan Woods Forest Design Plan identifies a requirement for the construction of an access road and the installation of a bridge at more or less the same location as the temporary track and bridge we are looking at today. This is in order to effectively manage felling and replanting on the site over a number of years. The applicant considers that the permanent retention of this section of Beauly Denny track will allow them to utilise the existing infrastructure and avoid the need to construct a new track and crossing.”
According to FCS the retention of the section of track and the bridge would also improve the recreational opportunities in the area for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
Eleanor Mackintosh, the CNPA Planning Committee Convener commented: “This is not the first of these applications to come before us and I think we should make it very clear that the retention of sections of track associated with Beauly Denny line will only happen in exceptional circumstances. In this case, the retention of this section of track and bridge are justified and sensible. It will save a great deal of time, expense and disturbance to the area if Forestry Commission Scotland can utilise something that is already there.”