site of a proposed new town in the cairngorms National Park bscg

Land at An Camas Mor in Strathspey  controversially proposed for 1,500 houses

BSCG and co-appellants have halted the legal challenge to the Cairngorms national Park’s 1st Local Plan. This is because the Supreme Court refused to cap the costs that we would have paid to the CNPA should our case fail. Regrettably we have been forced into this position before our case about the correct interpretation of European law could be heard by the court. In pursuing the case that started in 2010 we have adhered to the proper processes following professional legal advice. Our case would have never been taken had the CNPA followed more closely the findings of the 2009 local inquiry into the plan. Our costs have been met entirely through donations and we are very grateful to all those without whose support the legal challenge would have been impossible.

We are still working to oppose the proposed new town of An Camas Mor and other large scale developments in the Cairngorms National Park, which we believe would threaten the natural heritage which the park was set up to protect.

Gus Jones, Convener of the Badenoch & Strathspey Conservation Group said, “The reason for our challenge terminating at this stage is because the Supreme Court refused to limit our liability to the CNPA’s legal costs. No charity could proceed on the basis of unknown costs.
The incredible level of public support we have received demonstrates the deep and far-reaching public concern that exists about the Park Authority’s unsustainable and developer-driven approach to planning taken in their Local Plan, which threatens the natural heritage that the Park was set up to protect.”

Ian Lawson, founding Convener and long serving Director of the Cairngorms Campaign and former member of the Cairngorms Partnership commented, “That we have been able to take this case so far is testimony to the ground swell of support for what we were trying to do. Many people feel outraged about excessive development in the National Park that includes an entire new town.
We have been following due process and we are disappointed that we have not been able to get the clarification of the law that we were seeking. We hope this case will lead to tighter scrutiny of future Park Plans. We give every one of our supporters our heartfelt thanks for their generous help.”

Plans for massive new housing inside the Cairngorms national park could be sunk by legal action being brought by three Scottish-based environment groups in the Court of Session.

The groups are challenging the Cairngoms national park authority's housing plans which provides for over 2,000 new homes, including 1,500 at An Camas Mor, near Aviemore, which, it is claimed, would be the largest housing development in any UK national park.

The Cairngorms Campaign, the Scottish Campaign for National Parks, and the Badenoch and Strathspey Conservation Group are also challenging developments at Grantown-on-Spey, Nethy Bridge, Carrbridge and Kingussie.

The park authority has shared responsibility for planning, and the three are arguing that the authority's housing allocations are so large and environmentally damaging that the authority is failing in its legal duty to "conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the area".

Bill McDermott, the groups' spokesman who is also chairman of the Scottish Campaign for National Parks, said: "The park authority has been acting as the developers' friend. It should be a conservation agency not a development agency.

"There was a public local enquiry into the park authority's Plan, and we felt natural justice was ignored when the park authority failed to follow the Reporter's recommendations.

"We're fully aware of the need to house local people, and have well-balanced communities with homes for young people who couldn't otherwise afford to live in the park. But the authority will trash the park the way they're going. Theirs is a recipe for masses of holiday homes, and social incohesion."



More info -
Bill McDermott  01456 450397 or 07754 990325
or Robert Maund 01505 682447

Scottish Campaign for National Parks

Cairngorms Campaign

Badenoch and Strathspey Conservation Group

16 April 2010: BSCG thanks all the candidates for participating in the well attended environmental question time and our chairman for ensuring there was lively debate. A spokesperson for the Badenoch & Strathspey Conservation Group that organized the event also commented; “the candidates should have been left in no doubt that issues relating to the environment are important to voters and that we ignore concerns about the environment at our peril”..

Event photos:

general election environmental hustings 20100430 1435395914
From left to right: Ross Durance (UK Independence Party), Donnie Macleod (Green), John Finnie (Scottish National Party), Danny Alexander (Highland Liberal Democrats), David Dean OBE (Chairman), Jim Ferguson (Conservative), George MacDonald (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition), Mike Robb (Scottish Labour Party). Photo: Dr Gus Jones. May be used for reporting event.

Download high resolution version for media use.

general election environmental hustings 20100430 1908364079
From left to right: Mike Robb (Scottish Labour Party), George MacDonald (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition), Jim Ferguson (Conservative), Danny Alexander (Highland Liberal Democrats), John Finnie (Scottish National Party), Ross Durance (UK Independence Party), Donnie Macleod (Green), David Dean OBE (Chairman). Photo: Roy Brown. May be used for reporting event.

Download high resolution version for media use.


Danny Alexander, Highland Liberal Democrats
Ross Durance, UK Independence Party
Jim Ferguson, Conservative
John Finnie, Scottish National Party
George MacDonald, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Donnie Macleod, Green
Mike Robb, Scottish Labour Party

We are also following all the candidates that have twitters on the BSCG twitter

Welcoming the  swift unanimous decision by the CNPA board to refuse the controversial application by Muirhomes for   housing development on the Mossie  a BSCG spokesperson  commented  


“This decision  was responsible and commendable."  

On  the need to similarly safeguard other Strathspey sites  the spokesperson continued "There are a number of other housing proposals awaiting determination that would be seriously  harmful to  sensitive sites in Strathspey  The CNPA must now  likewise recognise the importance of these areas for the natural and cultural heritage of the national park."

As reported ahead of the planning meeting in the  Scotsman on 5 March 2010 BSCG  welcomed the wide ranging CNPA planning report for showing  " improved recognition" of  the special biodiversity interest of the Mossie. 

miscellaneous 20100428 1196161923

Lapwing   at the Mossie - the lapwing is on the UK red list of birds of high conservation concern.(Photo taken on the Mossie © Tim Ransom.)

the hopper arthaladeus striifrons 20100430 1340840570

The hopper Arthaladeus striifrons on the Mossie a first site for this species in Scotland. (© Tim Ransom).

Related news articles:

Major plan for houses to be built on habitat of rare bee rejected Press and Journal 6 Mar 2010

Tiny bee could undermine 200 houses Scotsman 4 Mar 2010

Objectors' delight at Mossie plans recommendation Strathspey Herald 3 Mar 2010