Plans approved for new 50-space car park at Stirling beauty spot to ease traffic woes

A new 50-space parking area has been approved for a beauty spot near Fintry in a bid to ease traffic woes on nearby routes.

Forestry and Land Scotland submitted an application to Stirling Council planners to create a designated parking facility within the woodland to provide visitors a safe parking option at land east and south of Gartcarron Filters Cottage off the B818.

The proposal also included a road upgrade including passing places, a new link path from the car park to the existing road network and the restriction of the current bellmouth parking area.

The council’s planning panel conditionally approved the application at its recent meeting, although five objections had been lodged to the plans.

Council planners told the panel the site was “semi-improved grassland” with scattered trees, alongside semi-natural woodland, which is part of the wider forestry area known as Todholes in the Carron Valley Forest.

They added: “The area for the car parking facility is set away from the main road and slopes downhill towards the north east.

“A link path will also be created from the southern end of the car park, curving east to connect to the Meikle Bin walking route.

“The finalized route of the path and materials are to be approved through condition.

“The proposal involves the removal of some of the trees and a tree survey is being undertaken which will be reviewed through condition. It also involves new planting of native woodlands.”

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The five objections submitted citing concerns including impact on water supply, overlooking/privacy from parking and road created, capacity issues, alternative sites, issues with proposed extension, noise, littering, security, anti-social behaviour, impact on wildlife and natural habitat, increased traffic volume and road safety, and campervan usage/overnight parking/toilet facilities,

However, the planners said: “Concerns about right of access are a civil matter. Future expansion does not form part of this planning application and additional planning permission would be required for this and would be assessed on its own merits.

“The scale and layout of this proposal is considered acceptable for the site. This site has been strategically chosen and could host further expansion in the future if there is the demand.

“The car parking facility has the capacity for larger vehicles such as campervans to park, although these spaces are minimal and overnight parking will not be encouraged on site.

“The car park which will be able to host 50 vehicles including 22 car bays, five blue badge bays and a layby for larger vehicles such as campervans. There will also be cycle hoops provided.

“At the minute a lot of people are parking along the road and it has created safety concerns. Creating a formal parking area for people will be safer. It is expected that the trees being removed will be replaced with revised landscaping.”

The officials said there were no plans to charge for the car park.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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