By Phil Swainson
As stated at the end of my last post on Badaguish in Glenmore (see here), Speyside Trust has made yet another planning application, this time to convert a toilet block into a site base for staff. Like many previous applications, it is full of false or misleading statements, and as pointed out in my previous post, a very basic mistake.
But first we must ask why the Cairngorms National Park Planning Authority has not called this application in. In their response to Highland Council they state:
“The decision of the Cairngorms National Park Authority is that the above planning application does not raise any planning issues of general significance to the park aims and as such No Call-in is necessary in this case.”
At the same time the CNPA has called in the planning application to extend the temporary planning permission for ten wigwams for another three years and this is being considered by the Planning Committee on Friday (see here).
The proposed toilet conversion is in fact part of a major development of a six hectare site which goes against all previous local plans.
If agreed the toilet conversion would become a permanent residence in an area with a presumption against such a building. I feel we can see the decision not to call in this application as an abdication of responsibility on the part of the CNPA. So nothing new then.
The press cutting says it all. In their supporting statement Badaguish says that the Care Inspectorate:
“have advised that an additional resident on-site Warden is now an essential requirement to ensure 24 hour cover to support visitors to the centre.”
I e-mailed the Care Inspectorate asking if they had, and the response was:
“Thank you for your email. I have queried this with relevant colleagues who have advised that no such recommendation was made to the service from the Care Inspectorate.”
One has to ask if the Care Inspectorate or any of our public authorities will take this up with the Speyside Trust?
In the past when commenting on the Speyside Trust and its planning and funding applications I have used phrases such as “misleading”, “untruthful” or “inaccurate” as descriptors of claims made by the Speyside Trust. On this occasion, it goes further than that. Highland Council, as planning authority should take note and reject the proposal. What a precedent it would set if Highland Council agreed a planning application which is based on what appears to be a lie?
The basic problem at Badaguish is that the planning authorities and the public cannot rely on any of the information provided by Speyside Trust without external verification and the development of the site has been based on fundamentally unsound foundations.