Park of Keir work to ‘start in spring’
Judy sets out timetable for £40m scheme
A design and business plan for the controversial Park of Keir sport and leisure development is nearing completion, according to key backer Judy Murray.
The mum of multiple Grand Slam-winning champions Andy and Jamie expects work to start on the £40m scheme around Easter of next year and take two years to complete.
A tennis and golf centre, museum, 19 luxury houses plus a 150-bed hotel is planned for green belt land between Dunblane and Bridge of Allan.
However, critics of the scheme claim Ms Murray’s comments are riddled with “omissions and misrepresentations” and they believe the financing of the project is still not clear.
The Park of Keir development was approved by the Scottish Government last August despite an independent Reporter, who chaired a public inquiry into the proposal, recommending refusal.
Scottish Ministers said they would grant the application – which prompted more than 1000 objections – providing the developers agreed to a number of conditions.
These include: securing education and affordable housing contributions; an agreement that no further residential development would be undertaken on the wider site, and arrangements to ensure the sports facilities are affordable and accessible to the general public.
Since then the council has been negotiating with Park of Keir Partners and their agents to agree the wording of the legal obligation.
Ms Murray last week told a national newspaper her team were close to securing a Section 75 agreement which will allow work to start.
Such agreements set out financial contributions which developers have to make towards schools, roads, transport, affordable housing, etc, if developments are to go ahead.
Ms Murray was quoted as saying: “We have to get a Section 75 from Stirling Council and we have got to nail down every single thing that is being asked of us and we are very close now.
“It will be a mix of sport and leisure and the leisure elements will make the money that will allow us to make the sport, golf and tennis affordable.
“We have set the whole thing up as a charitable trust. It isn’t a commercial venture for anyone. Profits that are generated in time are re-invested in the facility and it is a sport and leisure facility for the immediate catchment area.”
Ms Murray said those who were against it “made a lot of noise while the people who are for it don’t say anything”.
“Once we’ve finalised the design, we’ll have something to show people and I do think when people see it they will go ‘wow’,” she added.
She believes the development will open up Park of Keir to the general public. “At the moment hardly anybody walks on it,” she was quoted as saying.
Spokesperson for Park of Keir protest group RAGE, Inga Bullen, was of the view the negotiations between the developers and the council had been “shrouded in secrecy” even though councillors wanted them to be open and transparent.
Ms Bullen added: “There were so many omissions and misrepresentations in what Judy Murray had to say.
“There was no mention of the housing which the developers consider necessary to subsidise the tennis and which the developer was so keen on that he would not consider building the sports centre before the houses.”
She was sceptical of the claim that the leisure aspect of the business would allow use of the sports facilities to be affordable adding: “Why is Judy Murray still promoting this flawed plan when she could have more easily and quickly achieved her aims elsewhere?”
To comment on this story: email john.rowbotham@trinitymirror. com, or write to the Observer at 34 Upper Craigs, Stirling, FK82DW.
Judy Murray believes £40 million scheme will open up Park of Keir