A DEVELOPER’S bid to create a small glamping attraction in a Dumfriesshire village has been rejected.
Alex Duncan’s plans for six glamping pods at Caitloch Plantation, around 2km north of Moniaive, were refused by Dumfries and Galloway Council’s planning committee last week.
Mr Duncan had ambitions to create a small eco-friendly site that would bring tourists to Moniaive and benefit the local economy. His proposals also included new roads access, a parking area, and installation of drainage facilities.
However, council planning chiefs had concerns about a flood risk on the site, as well as the visual impact of the new cabins.
Moniaive resident David Wilson attended the meeting to read out a statement objecting to the proposals.
He said: “The list of objectors includes all residents in the glen. Also, there are other objections from people living in the wider community who know how unsuitable the proposed site would be.
“The people living in the glen feel very strongly that it would be wrong for this development to be imposed on the community that doesn’t want it or need it.
“The main grounds for objection are: the detrimental impact it would have on the landscape, both visual and environmental.
“Visually the proposal is very out of character with the surroundings. The beauty of the glen is its traditional unspoilt feature.
“Six proposed cabins, the eight space car park, turning area, bin store, and associated infrastructure would all be highly visible as they are just off the roadside.
“The proposal can hardly be sold on environmental grounds either. Felling trees to clear the site and laying tarmac at the entrance is hardly environmentally-friendly – especially when compared to the plantation which was previously there.”
A letter was then read out on behalf of the applicant. He stated: “The aim is to create a small development which will concentrate on providing a responsible eco and sustainable tourism type facility quite unlike anything else in the area. And (it would) attract a whole new type of tourist for short and long stays on a self-catering basis.
“The intention is to be carbon neutral whilst having a very light touch on the lanscape.
“Importantly, this will bring increased revenue to local businesses via groceries, meals, and entertainment, and thereby benefit the community as a whole.”
Annandale East and Eskdale Councillor Archie Dryburgh put forward a motion calling for the application to be refused, saying: “Both SEPA and the council flood risk management team were consulted – and both raised objections.
“Both asked for further information and weren’t given it. Yet the developer can send us an email with information on it.”
Lochar Councillor Ivor Hyslop backed this point of view, highlighting concerns over flooding and the visual impact.
The committee voted unanimously to reject the development.