Public set to get their say on Glentress Masterplan

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A 12-week public consultation is taking place on potential future developments at Glentress Forest, between Peebles and Cardrona.

The Glentress Masterplan, developed by Scottish Borders Council (SBC) and Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES), sets out the main opportunities and constraints for sustainable development within the forest and includes an indicative vision for the site and guidance for developers on design and materials.

The vision for the forest includes a central recreation area at Glentress Peel – including visitor facilities, new walking and mountain bike trails, bike skills areas, indoor activity building and business and commercial activity – and cabin-style holiday accommodation at Kittlegairy, near the existing Buzzard’s Nest car park.

In considering the future of Glentress, the partners are aiming to ensure that any new uses and developments that take place enhance the site as well as the wider Tweed Valley, and are of high quality and sympathetic to the landscape.

Sallie Bailey, forest district manager for FES, said: “Glentress is at the heart of the Tweed Valley and forms a key component in tourism. It attracts more than 300,000 visitors per year and is one of the UK’s premier mountain biking destinations.

“In addition, Glentress is a working forest and this Masterplan considers a wider programme of diversification and development that could be delivered, while protecting and enhancing the forest park setting.”

Ms Bailey added: “Our recent acquisitions of the adjoining Castlehill and Nether Horsburgh areas also afford the opportunity to improve site access and car parking as well as the potential to separate the harvesting and timber haulage operations from recreational uses at Glentress.”

Early consultation leading to the creation of the Masterplan was undertaken with stakeholders and the local community during 2013.

Councillor Ron Smith, SBC’s executive member for planning and environment, said: “As well as a vision for potential developments at Glentress Forest, the Masterplan includes design and development guidance for a high quality end product – in readiness for a developer coming forward with proposals for the site.

“It is important that the public get the opportunity to comment on the guidance before it is finalised.”