Strathmore Cycle Network officially opens

 

Local schoolchildren have formally opened the first phase of a new £1.6million network of cycling and walking routes in eastern Perthshire.

The 2.5km (1.5 miles) first phase is a specially constructed path linking country lanes between Alyth and Rattray.

The new path is the first section of what will be known as the Strathmore Cycle Network, connecting Alyth, Blairgowrie/Rattray and Coupar Angus.  

The development trusts in the three towns set up a Steering Group to create the Strathmore Cycle Network, which has already raised more than £250,000 towards the total cost.

Find out more on our Projects page.

Detailed planning permission sought for Glenisla Golf Course development

This is the revised masterplan for the major development being proposed for the former Glenisla Golf Course site. The developers have lodged this along with their application for detailed planning permission for the first phase – the 60-bed care home/dementia care unit and 20 new houses outlined in red at the top left of the plan. The first phase of works would also include a biomass boiler, a pumping station and two entrance buildings as well as a new access road from Meethill Road (seen at the top of the plan), and three commercial units in what is currently the Pitcrocknie Restaurant carpark at the right of the plan above.

Future phases of development would see around 180 further houses built across the site, with new roads and landscaping throughout. The developers say that a children’s nursery and possibly shops could be included in future phases, and land immediately to the west of the site (ie, towards Alyth itself) could be available for ‘community-based projects’. The developers claim that around 130 permanent jobs would be created for the town of Alyth alone when the development is mature, generating £3.5m for the local economy.

Perth & Kinross Council are now considering the application and are due to decide in the next couple of months on whether to grant detailed planning permission.

This is an artist’s impression of what the care home might look like, and below is a detailed plan of the first phase featuring the care home and 20 houses.
See full details of the application on the PKC planning website: http://bit.ly/2MaROOq

Government urged to take key actions on the future of Scotland’s rural economy presented to Government

A report highlighting ten key outcomes to ensure a sustainable future for the rural economy in Scotland has been presented to the Scottish Government following one of the biggest consultations in recent years.

The consultation, which was coordinated by the National Council of Rural Advisers (NCRA), an independent body providing advice and recommendations on rural policy to the Scottish Government, took place earlier this year.

130 responses and comments were received in response to an initial discussion document that was drawn up by the NCRA following a series of workshops and events across the country.

The recommendations made in the report, which is described as a blueprint for Scotland’s rural economy, include recognition of the strategic importance of the rural economy and ensuring that it is included within all policy and decision-making processes.

The report also recommends developing an interim rural economic framework to provide a structure for the development and implementation of a new approach to rural policy, development support and investment.

The creation of a rural economy action group to ensure that the recommendations of the report are set in place and that those involved are held to account is also called for in the report.

The report features Alyth’s very own Piotr Gudan (pictured above) who runs his adventure company Outdoor Explore from The Barony on Commercial Street.

Links to the full press release, the report and consultation responses can be viewed online at www.ncra.scot

Strathmore Cycle Network makes more progress

Two key parts of the Strathmore Cycle Network will soon be in place following Perth & Kinross Council’s approval of several new ‘Green Routes’ across the county.  

Green Routes are country lanes normally narrower than 4m, where 40 mph speed limits are imposed making them friendlier for walkers and cyclists.  There are already 19 such routes in Perth & Kinross, and the Council has now approved five new ones, two of which are key components of the Strathmore Cycle Network. 

One of these includes the minor roads from Bothrie to Burnhead, and from Blacklaw to the bridge over the River Isla at Boat of Bardmony.  This will connect New Alyth with the eastern end of the new multi-user path that has just been constructed by the Strathmore Cycle Network and local landowners, connecting Blacklaw with Ashgrove Road in Rattray.

The other new Green Route is the network of lanes southeast of Blairgowrie linking Rosemount, Parkhead, Myreriggs, Coupar Grange and Bendochy.  This will link to the proposed new multi-user path coming out of Coupar Angus and over the Couttie Bridge, completing the Blairgowrie-Coupar Angus section of there Strathmore Cycle Network.

The other three Green Routes that have been approved are at Muthill, Longforgan, and Aberargie.  The Council says that discussions with elected members, local communities and cycling groups indicate that the Green Routes are very popular with road users, and they’re sure that the new routes will be no different.

The Council’s formal approval of the new routes will allow traffic regulation orders to be prepared and advertised, with any objections being considered by a Council committee.  All being well, the new Green Routes should be a reality by next Spring. 

The Strathmore Cycle Network is an ambitious plan to create a £1.6-million network of cycling and walking routes designed to connect Alyth. Blairgowrie/Rattray and Coupar Angus, improving road safety and helping to cut carbon emissions and pollution.

The development trusts in the three town have already raised more than £250,000 towards the total, which is being invested in the new path between Alyth and Rattray as well as the design of the new path from Coupar Angus to Bendochy.

See all the new Green Routes on this PKC document: New Green Routes

£1.6-million cycle network gets under way 

Alyth has joined forces with Blairgowrie/Rattray and Coupar Angus to create a £1.6-million network of cycling and walking routes designed to improve road safety and help cut carbon emissions and pollution.

The three towns have already raised more than £250,000 towards the total, which is now being invested in new cross-country paths and bridges on the first phase, linking Alyth and Rattray and avoiding the main road.

We at ADT are pressing ahead with our counterparts in the other towns on fund-raising and planning to complete what will be known as the Strathmore Cycle Network over the next couple of years.

The Steering Group set up by the three trusts will hold public meetings in early September to help decide the route between Blairgowrie and Coupar Angus.  The public meetings will take place at the Coupar Angus Cycle Hub (the old Strathmore Bowling Club) at 7.30pm on 4 September, and 1 Upper Alan Street (Opposite the Royal Hotel carpark) at 7.00pm on 5 September.

Initially, the network is using some 13km (8 miles) of existing country lanes connected by almost 11km (7 miles) of new cycle and walking paths built with the consent and cooperation of landowners along the route.

The only exception to this is where it crosses the River Isla just north of Coupar Angus via the Couttie Bridge.  This could involve converting the A923 at that point to a single carriageway controlled by traffic lights plus a dedicated cycle lane, along with new paths constructed north and south of the bridge away from the road.

Later phases will see new paths built to bypass public roads altogether and provide dedicated direct routes for cyclists and walkers between the three communities well away from motor traffic. 

The project has so far secured £37,000 from the cycling and footpath charity Sustrans Scotland, £200,000 from the Scottish Government’s Improving Access for All fund, £8,000 from the National Lottery Awards for All fund, and £10,000 from Tactran – the statutory regional transport partnership covering the Angus, Dundee, Perth & Kinross and Stirling council areas.  Perth & Kinross Council has earmarked a further £100,000 for the network in its recent budget.

Len Seal, chair of the steering group set up to deliver the project, said:  “I am amazed and really pleased at the rate of progress. I think this is down to the Development Trusts in all three towns working well together, to support from Sustrans and PKC and the public spiritedness of local landowners.

Dave Keane, Sustrans Scotland’s community links manager, commented:  “Sustrans is delighted to be funding the design of a walking and cycling path between Coupar Angus and Blairgowrie which would help residents and visitors to the area using the main road which connects the two towns. 

“We hope the design will lead to the creation of a safe and accessible walking cycling path which can be used by all, including pupils travelling from Coupar Angus to Blairgowrie High School.” 

Councillor Kathleen Baird, PKC’s Environment and Infrastructure Committee Vice-Convener, commented:  “We’re pleased to see this project coming forward that aims to improve road safety for cyclists in East Perthshire. This is reflected in the £100,000 earmarked in the capital budget for the Strathmore Cycle Network. The joint working approach by local communities and the Council has clearly been bearing fruit and provides a really good example of a community-led drive to make a difference at a local level.”

Local councillor for Strathmore, Colin Stewart, said: “I was delighted to be able to secure £100,000 in the Council’s latest budget towards completing the next phase of the Strathmore Cycle Network, a project that will benefit the whole area in terms of active travel, health, leisure, tourism and economic development. Supporting a community-led project such as the Cycle Network is exactly the sort of investment that the Council should be making in our communities on behalf of our residents and taxpayers, and I congratulate all of the volunteers involved for their huge efforts in getting the project to this stage.”

SNH commented:  “This project is a great example of people working together to achieve a shared goal and we are delighted to have been involved. Linking paths and communities not only helps people to travel in a way that helps our environment, it can help people to connect with nature and enjoy all the health benefits of being active and outdoors. We hope this project will encourage more people to travel through this beautiful area of rural Perthshire.”

The number of people walking or cycling for pleasure and to get to work or school has been increasing in recent years.  Figures from Transport Scotland show that Scots are estimated to have cycled 352 million vehicle-kilometres in 2016, up from 343 million in 2015, at an average of 7.6km per journey:  https://www.transport.gov.scot/publication/26-september-2017-transport-and-travel-in-scotland-2016/7-walking-and-cycling/

The Scottish Government has a Cycling Action Plan for Scotland with a target of 10% of everyday journeys being made by bike by 2020.  The Plan outlines the benefits of more people cycling and walking as:

  • easing congestion
  • reducing noise pollution
  • cutting exhaust emissions
  • improving health
  • saving money

https://www.transport.gov.scot/publication/cycling-action-plan-for-scotland-2017-2020/

Detailed plans rereleased for first phase of Glenisla Golf Course development

The developers behind the plans for the former Glenisla Golf Course have lodged their application for detailed planning permission for the first phase of their project.  They want to build a 60-bed care home specialising in dementia care, together with 20 houses (mostly bungalows with a focus on assisted living) and three small commercial units as well as various ancillary buildings.  This is the first phase of a project that could create more than 200 new homes on the former golf course, and the developers claim that this will create 175 jobs when mature, bringing £3.5m into the local economy.

The developers say that they are working closely with PKC’s roads and planning department to alleviate the impact of the extra traffic on local roads and parking within the town, with the development maturing “over a number of years, phased sensibly with demand”.  Nevertheless, there are still issues to be considered about whether the same benefits could be realised by development on land within the town itself, without the need to build over open countryside well beyond Alyth’s natural boundaries, and without extra traffic on narrow country lanes.  You can read all about the proposals on the PKC planning website here:  http://bit.ly/2BpGyZs

PKC looking for local hero nominations

Do you know someone who is a young person who helps others in their communities, or has made a big difference in volunteering or by helping others?  Someone who is a ‘Neighbourhood Angel’?

Perth & Kinross Council are looking for council tenants as nominees, or that the work being done has an impact on council tenants or council housing areas, so it can be an owner/resident in one of their tenanted neighbourhoods.

You can use these nomination forms: Nominate your Neighbourhood Angel or Young Champion prizes version and return the nomination to Judy Barrow, JCBarrow@pkc.gov.ukTRP Worker, 2nd floor, Pullar House, Kinnoull Street, Perth PH1 5EN

PKC say they want to send out letters to the nominees at the beginning of September, so get your nominations in quickly. All the nominees will get a certificate and be invited to a winter conference.

If you’re a social enterprise, bid now for help to accelerate your growth

LaunchMe is Scotland’s social enterprise accelerator. It aims to develop a pool of strong, capable and ambitious social enterprises that can go on to secure investment so they can achieve social impact at scale.  The fourth round of LaunchMe is looking to support eight social enterprises with the commitment and ambition to grow and achieve greater social impact. It is open for applications until noon on Monday 5 November 2018.

http://www.firstport.org.uk/programmes/launchme

Adventure tourism in Scotland – making the most of our opportunities

One of the fastest growing tourism sectors around the world in recent years has been adventure tourism, and with Scotland’s coastline, mountains and rivers it comes as no surprise that this growth is being mirrored here, says the Scottish Community Alliance in its latest newsletter. With our more remote rural communities always on the lookout for new ways to generate sustainable income streams, Senscot’s excellent latest briefing on the subject is a welcome addition:  Adventure-Tourism-Briefing