Proposed Murray and Montgomerie sports centre fails on housing grounds

park of Keir tennis centreStirling Council has rejected plans for a proposed golf and tennis centre near Dunblane as the development’s residential element did not fit Scottish planning policy.

The Park of Keir project, which was supported by golfer Colin Montgomerie and Judy Murray, mother of former Wimbledon champion Andy, was to be located at Park of Keir, between Murray’s home town of Dunblane and Bridge of Allan on the outskirts of Stirling University.

The Park of Keir partners said the “world class” tennis and golf facility consisting of six indoor and six outdoor tennis courts in addition to a nine-hole golf course with practice range and mini golf.

A four star, 150-room hotel built, alongside the “Murray Tennis Museum” was also proposed.

It was argued that the development would have provided “state of the art recreational facilities”, creating 150 new jobs and injecting £5 million to the local economy yearly.

However, approval has now been rejected after a meeting of the Stirling Council planning committee.

The housing element of the developmentEarlier planning officers had recommended the application for refusal stating it was contrary to Stirling’s local development plan and policies on protecting the green belt, housing in the countryside and affordable housing.

A spokesperson said: “Having carefully considered and discussed extensively all the arguments for and against this proposal, Stirling Council’s Planning and Regulation Panel has today refused the application for a development at Park of Keir.”

The council had voiced concerns about a previous version of the plans, which included 100 new houses to help finance the development, which they feared could “exacerbate affordability in the local area”.

The revised proposals cut this down to 19 luxury houses, and add in the creation of a new 100-acre country park.

There was also criticism of the “significant detrimental impact” the development could have on a “sensitive landscape”.

Park of Kier’s Alston Birnie said: “We are obviously extremely disappointed by today’s decision. We felt we put forward a strong case for a sports facility of national significance.

“We want to take time to reflect on the decision today before deciding the next steps.”

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