Perthshire - Kinloch Rannoch CDP - application withdrawn

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The Sooz
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Perthshire - Kinloch Rannoch CDP - application withdrawn

Post by The Sooz »

I just checked the status of this and the application has been withdrawn, no doubt because of the number of objections from local residents. How terribly sad! The local press was awash with negative comments from residents during the summer because of dirty campers with the usual disparaging comments about camper vans and motorhomes and much of the beautiful Loch Rannoch area has become a no-go. So someone - in this case the Loch Rannoch Conservation Association - put forward a solution by applying for a chemical disposal point in the village but everyone objects. I don't understand humans sometimes.

The CDP was proposed on a brownfield site of an old petrol station too, so at some point in time there would have been plenty traffic going in and out the petrol station so many of the objectors' arguments just don't stand up.


:?
Steve
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Re: Perthshire - Kinloch Rannoch CDP - application withdrawn

Post by Steve »

I believe that members on our group live locally and explained that the proposed site was unsuitable as it was on the village green, they are proposing an alternative location.
Maybe our “Are you ready for Easter Staycation “ document may promote some urgency
Steve - CAMpRA Leadership Team
The Sooz
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Re: Perthshire - Kinloch Rannoch CDP - application withdrawn

Post by The Sooz »

Ah that's good to hear. I'm glad they are still thinking about an alternative location. I'll have a look at that document. :)
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Re: Perthshire - Kinloch Rannoch CDP - application withdrawn

Post by LizM »

Steve, I live relatively locally, and as The Sooz said, the proposed site was on the old garage forecourt area - a rundown unused space currently (empty bit of concrete) and it would have been great to have something in Kinloch Rannoch. Definitely wasn't on the village green.
Do either of you know if someone on the council has been sent any information about CAMPrA. I knew the planning application had been rejected, but who, if anyone, has made contact and sent them "Are you Ready for Easter Staycation"?
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Re: Perthshire - Kinloch Rannoch CDP - application withdrawn

Post by Steve »

Liz, see post on Perth, but if you have contact emails please send the letter and the emergency staycation recovery plan
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Re: Perthshire - Kinloch Rannoch CDP - application withdrawn

Post by LizM »

I have sent this email to the three local councillors whose contact details were listed on the planning application for the CDP at Kinloch Rannoch:

I am a resident of Perthshire (Crieff) and I am also a campervan owner. I am contacting you following the withdrawn planning application for motorhome chemical disposal facilities in Kinloch Rannoch.

In the summer of 2020, I was a delivery driver for one of the Perth supermarkets. My deliveries took me to the far end of Loch Rannoch, along both sides of the Loch, and all round Highland Perthshire and I saw first hand the problems caused by the huge influx of visitors that came to Highland Perthshire once the lockdown restrictions were lifted. We witnessed the backlash of being in lockdown for 3 months with unwelcome scenes of 'Dirty Camping' and I understand why there was such a negative response from local residents to the Kinloch Rannoch planning application for a chemical waste disposal point.

But we need to act now to avoid a repeat of the ‘dirty camping’ problems in 2021.
Last year’s surge in the number of people taking a staycation has highlighted a lack of existing facilities for camping, caravans and motorcaravans and demonstrated that there has been a long-existing problem with the UK network of campsites. Most Campsites that are open for bookings are already fully booked throughout 2021.

And recently reported by the BBC “Bosses at the Caravan and Motorhome Club said the lifting of restrictions would be like "a cork popping from a bottle".”

One thing for certain is after a year of having holidays cancelled and travel restricted is that thousands of UK citizens will be flocking to beautiful Highland Perthshire as soon as they are allowed to travel.

The only uncertainty is how will we deal with them?

One group of visitors will be many of our 386,000 UK registered motorcaravan owners who will be on the road and looking for places to park. Surprisingly this is the easiest group to accommodate.
Height barriers, closed public toilets (like in Kenmore) and prohibitions on overnight parking will not stop them travelling; they have not spent on average £30,000 to £60,000 on a motorhome for it to sit on the drive.

We must understand that a motorcaravan only needs a place to park, not camp. If they want to set up camp, they will use a campsite. Secondly, they need access to water and waste disposal points every few days. These overnight parking facilities are commonly known as “Aires” and there are several thousands of these throughout Europe but very few in the UK. Pitlochry’s twin town, Confolens, has an Aire! European towns and villages roll out the red carpet and benefit from the motorhome tourists' money.

Benefits of Aires:

reduce the amount of ‘wild camping’
remove the incidence of illegal emptying of waste by irresponsible owners
benefit small clubs/businesses struggling for funds who could use their existing car parks
benefit village halls, local garages & car washes who all already have suitable locations & existing infrastructure/plumbing for waste disposal point

Allowing motorcaravans to park closer to towns and villages encourages spending in local businesses - a recent survey with 8956 responses shows motorcaravan owners spending on average £47 per day locally, excluding sites fees and fuel.
It’s great to see new facilities going in next to Beyond Adventure in Aberfeldy, but is there scope to increase the size of the car park and provide a few more overnight parking places for self-contained motorcaravans?

Couldn’t the same sort of facilities and design be put in somewhere at Kinloch Rannoch?

It would be great to see the existing car park and toilets in Kenmore opened up

Or what about the parking area next to the Kenmore tennis court/playing field and pavilion?

And the Ferry Road car park in Pitlochry is already a favourite with motorcaravannners. It would be great to turn it into an official Aire.
I’m sure there are many other suitable locations in the villages around Highland Perthshire. I have attached CAMpRA’s "An Emergency Staycation Recovery Plan", which I hope will help you as you plan further for the 2021 staycation boom hitting Highland Perthshire.

For more information: www.CAMpRA.org.uk and on Facebook at https://facebook.com/groups/campra.uk

Reply to me or email: steve@campra.org.uk

Attached: Emergency Staycation Plan
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Re: Perthshire - Kinloch Rannoch CDP - application withdrawn

Post by Steve »

Excellent email Liz
Steve - CAMpRA Leadership Team
LizM
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Re: Perthshire - Kinloch Rannoch CDP - application withdrawn

Post by LizM »

Speedy response from one of the three councillors I emailed. 4 hours later this came back to me:
Thank you very much for your email. You raise a number of interesting points much of which I agree with.

As a local Councillor, I was very aware of the difficulties experienced last summer by the influx of campers and motorhomes into Highland Perthshire. I also agree that this coming summer will probably see a similar invasion of UK tourists with many citizens unwilling/unable to holiday abroad. For the avoidance of doubt, we welcome responsible visitors to Perth and Kinross but will I hope crack down quicker this year on those who behave irresponsibly.

While I agree that improved facilities are needed, I would not wish to give the impression that the lack of facilities was the cause of the disgusting and criminal actions which we witnessed last summer. The vast majority of that was down to mindless theft and vandalism and a total lack of respect and consideration for the countryside and local people and I am not sure that having adequate facilities would have prevented it – littering, firelighting, damage to trees and dry stane dykes, invasion of private gardens, theft, drunkenness, noise, etc etc.

That said, I agree that additional facilities similar to Aires are needed. I was already familiar with the Aires concept and fully supported the successful planning application at beyond Adventure outside Aberfeldy. As a Council, we put some money into our budget last year to develop similar facilities, however, as I am sure you can appreciate, the response to the pandemic has meant the Council concentrating on the emergency response and we have not been able to make much progress with our plans so far.

Over and above this, I understand that most caravan/camping sites will allow motorhomes to dispose of their waste at their facilities for a small charge.

You mention issues like height barriers - these are often installed as a result of experience where they have become semi-permanent “campsites” for certain groups; closed public toilets - usually due to cuts to local authority funding and restrictions in overnight parking in car parks – usually fully supported by local residents. You also asked about additional spaces for overnight parking at Aberfeldy. I understand that a certain amount of overnight parking per annum is accepted but if it becomes a larger operation, it brings with it additional legal, planning, etc etc requirements which may make the facility unsustainable financially.

In relation to Kinloch Rannoch, it appears that the applicant, the local Conservation Association, met considerable local objection and decided that upsetting their community was a step too far. I am not sure of the application is being brought back or abandoned.

Re Kenmore, the field and car park next to the playing fields are not council owned but I believe we are trying to open discussions with the owners.

Following the problems experienced last summer, the Council is working with stakeholders including landowners to see if more suitable parking etc can be found in these areas. I am monitoring their discussions to see what assistance I can provide to alleviate these issues this year.

Finally, thankl you for you Emergency Staycation Recovery Plan which I will read and for the online link.If I can be of any further assistance, please do feel free to get back in touch.

Kind Regards

John

John Duff
Councillor for the Highland Ward
Perth and Kinross Council
Scottish Conservative and Unionist

Mob: 07826 908542
Tel: 01738 475095
Web: www.pkc.gov.uk
Steve
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Re: Perthshire - Kinloch Rannoch CDP - application withdrawn

Post by Steve »

Very positive reply Liz, may I suggest that you offer CAMpRA as an experienced stakeholder to be willing to participate in any discussion groups or zoom meetings?
Leadership are always willing to help.
Also a post on Facebook with a link to this forum topic would be good👍
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Re: Perthshire - Kinloch Rannoch CDP - application withdrawn

Post by LizM »

I decided to contact the Ward 4 councillors at Perth and Kinross Council again last night. That's because of the news item in the Press and Journal, which described Highland Council's strategy for tackling the predicted increased visitor numbers this summer. I thought it would be good to share what Highland have done with Perth and Kinross Council.

I sent the following email to the three Ward 4 Councillors, the leader of the PKC council and also visitormanagementgroup@pkc.gov.uk

I am a resident of Crieff but I work on South Loch Tay and I travel there via Loch Earn. Although Loch Earn is within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Camping Management Zone, there was still a problem on the single track north side of the Loch because there were too many visitors and no facilities.

Last summer I was a delivery driver for one of the big Perth Supermarkets and delivered frequently in Highland Perthshire including Loch Tay, Loch Rannoch, Loch Tummel and Glen Lyon so saw first hand the problems caused by the influx of visitors and the lack of provision in Highland Perthshire.

It’s really good to see that funding has been secured for a pilot scheme for a Ranger Service in Highland Perthshire. That is a great step forward and I am sure it will help.

However, I think a multi-pronged strategy would be better placed to tackle the huge influx of visitors Highland Perthshire is likely to see in the summer. Please have a look at this recent article from the Press and Journal, which describes the approach Highland Council are planning. They state, "It is not about controlling or spoiling the visitor’s experiences but rather it is about creating a good experience for them. In successful destinations, this is achieved through planning to ensure the visitors are well informed, efforts are made to influence when they go there, and what they do there, and a suitable range of facilities and services are provided for them.”

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/ne ... UYGc5V0POY

In summary, Highland Council are planning the following:
£300,000 - for the employment of 10 seasonal rangers to be on the front line of visitor relations. They will promote responsible behaviour and may also enforce regulations on litter, parking, fires and dog control. On weekend and evening shifts they will tackle anti-social camping issues. They will work with communities, land managers and other partners, including the police and emergency services.
£280,000 - to the roads, with improved passing places and lay-bys, road signs, verge protection and road traffic orders
£250,000 - car park charging. The plan is for around 21 sites to be considered by area committee for parking charge schemes, with the employment of a further four temporary officers to enforce them.
£60,000 - investment in public toilet improvements and an increase in the number of comfort schemes.
£180,000 - more and larger bins with increased litter collections using additional seasonal staff.
£60,000 - provide school buses to serve new routes to popular tourist locations when not in use.
Provision for motorhomes will be improved with more waste disposal points, promotion of sites and help for landowners wanting to create such facilities.

Highland Region currently have their public toilet blocks open, as do Stirling Council - Lochearnhead, Ballachulish and Corran Ferry to name three examples. PKC currently have their closed. What are people meant to do when toilets are closed? Kenmore toilets, opposite the beach need to be opened again. To fund that, they could operate like the ones at Corran ferry with an automatic pay to enter, or you could re-open them and install a motorhome service point at the same time. Motorhome owners need place to access fresh water, empty grey waste and empty black waste safely and they are prepared to pay for those services. This approach could be taken with all the other existing and closed toilet blocks in Highland Perthshire.

And then you could look at existing council car parks and allow overnight parking in them. And also encourage local businesses with car parking to do the same. Self-contained motorhome and campervan owners would pay for overnight parking and that income would be helpful for both the Council and local businesses.

And then perhaps there are campsites that could expand, or farmers/landowners that could offer their fields as temporary campsites and its easy enough to hire portaloos. There is scope at Kenmore for something like that - on the rugby pitch or the field next to that, which is relatively near the Loch and right next to the closed toilet block - that area has been used as a temporary campsite before - for the Rob Roy Challenge.

Open car parks and temporary campsites as a trial just for summer 2021.

You may have heard of CAMpRA (Campaign for Real Aires) before. They are already in consultation with many councils and offer much useful advice about planning for the summer. I have attached one of their documents.

Contact for CAMPrA’s leadership team: steve@campra.org.uk
Website: https://campra.org.uk

Councillor John Duff replied to me today. A very positive reply:
Many thanks for your email and your comments and thoughts on this subject.

You have rightly observed many of the issues which have blighted the rural areas of Perth and Kinross last summer. As a Council, we have been working with our partners over the winter months to prepare for the arrival of visitors which will come when travel restrictions are lifted. In that regards, our Visitor Management Team have been looking at ways in which the issues you list can be mitigated and/or eliminated. This includes working with landowners to create better parking areas in popular locations, additional toilet facilities, rural clearways to protect the verges and prevent dangerous and inconsiderate parking on narrow country roads and working with partners and volunteers to engage with visitors and encourage responsible behaviour. The Council is keen to develop aires type facilities in such areas and will be working to improve the infrastructure in our rural areas.

In respect of the funding for the Ranger Service, please note that this is for a Ranger Service in Perth and Kinross and while Highland Perthshire does have significant issues with the management of visitors, we are not the only area in need of these resources. As you may have seen in the media, we are working with both National Parks and Highland Council on the best set up for the service. In addition to the commitment to £480k over two years for the Ranger Service, we also established a Visitor Management Fund which will help to fund some of the additional infrastructure requirements like additional waste bins, comfort schemes, etc.

The PKC toilets are due to reopen on 1st April and there is a Public Toilet Asset Review ongoing currently, taking into account the age and condition of our current facilities, comfort scheme arrangements and the changing needs of residents and visitors, including the provision of disabled and ‘changing place’ facilities and the increasing requirement for motorhomes service disposal points.

I don’t doubt that there is work to be done but we certainly welcome responsible visitors to Perth and Kinross and will do everything we can to give them great experience while they are here and a desire to return to visit our beautiful countryside again and again.

Thank you again for your comments. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.

Kind Regards

John

John Duff
Councillor for the Highland Ward
Perth and Kinross Council
Scottish Conservative and Unionist

Mob: 07826 908542
Tel: 01738 475095
Web: www.pkc.gov.uk
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