Innerleithen bike lift plan lease out for consultation

INNERLEITHEN uplift campaigners’ request to lease land for the facility went out to public consultation last week.

Community group AIMUp has applied to Forestry Commission Scotland’s National Forest Land Scheme (NFLS) to rent about 250 hectares (618 acres) of Elibank and Traquair Forest near Innerleithen.

AIMUp’s Ian Campbell said: “Publication of our NFLS application is another step forward in the process. We hope the documents will give the community and wider public a greater understanding of our plans, and what the uplift could mean for the 
Borders.”

AIMUp – which stands for Action on the Innerleithen Mechanical Uplift – hopes to build a funicular type uplift to Plora Rig, new biking and hiking trails and a toboggan ride.

Administered by Forestry Commission Scotland, the NFLS gives communities the opportunity to bid to buy or lease national forest land on the basis that it provides increased public benefits.

The 28-day open consultation period runs until December 11 and details of the application can be viewed on line at www.forestry.gov.uk/nfls

The group expects its application in principle for planning permission to be considered by Scottish Borders Council’s planning committee on December 3.

Mr Campbell said: “The planning decision is key to the future of the proposals. Public support displayed in the recent ballot and recorded on the planning portal, SBC’s stated support for the group and the uplift proposal, and no ‘show-stopper’ objections to the plans, leave us cautiously optimistic for a positive decision.”