- Written by Gus Jones
- Category: Campaigns
- Published: 11 October 2018
Questions are being asked about how Cairngorms National Park Planners have recently recommended approval for a costly proposal for artificial ski slopes on the hill. It is shocking (but convenient for the developer) that the public screening opinion claims this project would not have any “significant effects on the environment”. Envisaged in the high altitude development over a footprint of 2.1 ha is the stripping of thousands of cubic metres of peat. No mitigation is possible for the habitats to be destroyed. These support valued wildlife including mountain hare, mountain bumblebee, plants like interrupted clubmoss, heathland with natural bearberry, juniper and lichens that with the natural landform has developed since the end of the last Ice Age. The compensation proposed (of some tree and shrub planting) is arguably what should already be happening on responsibly managed land in public ownership in such a special area in the heart of a National Park.
Apparently requiring £1.5M of public money, this climate-unfriendly project is plainly highly unsustainable in financial, social and environmental terms . If in the teeth of considerable community opposition this project is consented it has enduring reputational implications and would illustrate subservience to a speculative unreasonably optimistic and disastrously ill-informed vision.
If the CNPA Board approve this project it opens the way to a new wave of major environmental and landscape damage on the hill.
Today ( 11 Oct 2018) the Strathspey & Badenoch Herald reported the planners recommendation for approval of the controversial project "is despite growing protests that it will damage the environment and become a white elephant".
Strathspey & Badenoch Herald ( October 11 2018, extract from page 4 )