Review of permitted development
Still no news of when the Scottish Government's review of the law on hill
tracks will take place. Other legislative pressures have resulted in this
continuing to be kicked down the road.
- NEMT objected to track applications on the Balavil estate in the
Monadhliath and in the Glen Lethnot area in Angus. These applications
were subsequently withdrawn. When applications are withdrawn, it is
usual not possible to ascertain whether this is because estates have
decided not to proceed or whether they intend to resubmit in an altered
form. We remain vigilant to the latter possibility.
- NEMT raised a potential breach of planning action in respect of what
appears to be an unauthorised major upgrade of a section of the path
running from Letterewe north over the bealach to Fionn Loch.
Interestingly, paths do not enjoy permitted development status, unlike
vehicle tracks. This upgrade is not a significant issue in itself but it
is important to ensure that estates abide by the law. We await the
- A temporary mast is to be installed on the summit of Morrone as work
to undertake a new permanent one has been delayed. The application did
not address the implications for the track which accesses the summit
from the south. This track, which is well used by walkers traversing the
hill, will inevitable be damaged by vehicles bring material to the site.
NEMT raised this and it is good to note that Aberdeenshire Council has
made conditions regarding remedial work.
- There are increasing numbers of applications for peat restoration. The
legal situation regarding tracks related to this is outlined in the last
edition of Mountain Views.
- When commenting on track applications, we continue to stress the
importance of new and upgraded tracks having a central turf/heather
strip as this reduces the visual impact significantly. It's good to note
that the Cairngorms National Park is usually making this a condition of
Related planning issues
- An application for chalets to the north west of the Clova hotel has
been lodged. NEMT has raised issues regarding the access road and
increased screening by native tree species.
- NEMT has objected to an application for a communications mast in the
Lethnot area, the purpose of which is stated as being improved mobile
phone coverage for the safety of estate staff. As well as pointing out
that this is in a Wild Land Area and no assessment of the implications
of this has been provided, NEMT has raised the option of satellite
phones as a viable alternative.
These two applications are still under consideration.
Our two 'trackers', NEMT members Sandy Mcintosh and Carlos Oldani,
continue to diligently scrutinise, week in week out, the websites of all
planning authorities covering the Grampian hills and then highlight
applications of concern. Thanks go to Sandy and Carlos.
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