Cairngorms legal ruling drives a bulldozer through our heritage and wildlife

Wednesday 17th July 2013

Legal Appeal the Cairngorms Campaign and Other v The Cairngorms National Park Authority & Others finds in favour of construction.

Following today’s ruling from the Court of Session, the Cairngorms National Park Authority is set to progress four proposed developments which will cause a major adverse impact to protected habitats and species:

1.An Camas Mor – a new town of up to 1500 houses which will impact upon Caledonian forest and lowland heath near the River Spey.

2.Kingussie – a large new estate of up to 300 houses, greatly increasing the size of the town.

3.Carrbridge – a new estate of over 100 houses which will impact upon rare wildflower meadows, native Scots pine woodland and fragile bog woodland.

4.Nethy Bridge – 40 houses in Ancient Woodland close to the RSPB’s famous Abernethy Forest reserve.

We believe that the National Park Authority’s assessment of the potential adverse impacts of these developments was unacceptable. The National Park Authority should have undertaken a more rigorous scientific appraisal to assess the ecological impacts of proposed developments on the internationally designated features before including these in its Local Plan. We do not consider that deferring an assessment to the later stages in the planning approval process, which has been the National Park Authority’s approach, will provide the protection that Scotland’s most treasured natural areas should receive.

“This ruling is a major setback not just for the protection of ‘protected’ wildlife, landscape and heritage in the Cairngorms but potentially for future assessments throughout the European Union where it set a precedent for inadequate assessment of sites before their destruction. We need your on-going support to continue the fight to safeguard our irreplaceable natural heritage, to find out how you can help go to our Safeguard the Cairngorms campaign page. Craig Macadam, Director of Buglife Scotland commented.

The Cairngorms National Park hosts the wildest mountain range, largest native forests and some of the most pristine rivers and lochs in the UK. This majestic landscape is home to rare and endangered wildlife such as the freshwater pearl mussel, wildcat, red squirrel and capercaillie.