Members of the Badenoch and Strathspey Area Committee give full support to West Highlands and Islands Amended Core Paths Plan Review

At their meeting yesterday, members of the Badenoch and Strathspey Area Committee received an update on the consultation on the Amended Core Paths Plan for the Badenoch and Strathspey area, which has one outstanding objection.

Following an informal review for the West Highlands and Islands area in 2016, the Council began a formal public consultation on an Amended Core Paths Plan for the area between July and October 2019.  At that time, of the five proposed changes in Badenoch and Strathspey area, seven responses were received – four in support, two neutral and one objection.

This objection was raised by the Factor representing the landowners (Ben Alder Estate) in response to the proposal that paths and forest roads in Caochan Woods, Dalwhinnie be core paths.  These paths and tracks were recommended as core paths because they are part of an extended Dalwhinnie Trails network. However, the estate has outlined its intention to undertake extensive forestry operations and did not want to attract more walkers to that area.

Meanwhile the existing Core Paths Plan remains in place and is used to promote and protect the public’s access rights.

Members of the committee yesterday agreed to endorse the original proposal with a minor edit to the route.  It is now up to Scottish Ministers to decide whether or not to direct the Council to adopt the plan, possibly following a Public Local Inquiry.

Cllr Bill Lobban, Chairman of the Badenoch and Strathspey Area Committee, said: “I am disappointed that the Factor representing Ben Alder Estate has submitted an objection in relation to this proposal.  The inclusion of these routes would be a terrific addition to the Core Paths Plan for both local walkers and cyclists.”

He continued:  “I am pleased that the committee unanimously agreed to proceed despite this objection and support these routes being included in the plan and I welcome the support from the Cairngorms National Park Authority.”

ENDS

11 Nov 2020
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