T In The Park "Would Boost Strathallan"
20 January 2015, 14:22
The owner of the estate earmarked for this year's T in the Park festival believes staging the event will allow improvements to be made to the historic site.
A formal planning application has been lodged to host the festival at Strathallan Castle in Perthshire between July 10 and 12.
DF Concerts, which runs T in the Park, announced the move last summer as safety concerns grew over the proximity of the Balado site to a large oil pipeline.
It was initially thought that the event could operate in the grounds of the 19th-century castle with a permitted development and a public entertainment licence, but the discovery of osprey at Strathallan meant a formal planning application and an environmental statement was required with Perth and Kinross Council.
A 28-day consultation period will now open on the application, with a decision expected in April.
Strathallan Estate dates back to the 13th century and was bought in 1910 by Sir James Roberts and has remained in his family since.
Current owner Anna Roberts said repairs and improvements to the castle and the grounds will be able to be made if the festival gets the green light.
She also believes it would give tourism and businesses in the area a boost.
According to the planning application, the upkeep of the private estate is expensive and needs an injection of capital to halt its decline.
Income at the estate is currently raised through letting rooms in the castle for wedding receptions and corporate events, while the grounds have been used for team-building activities and clay pigeon shooting.
Hosting T in the Park would allow buildings damaged by recent storms to be repaired, farm roads and drainage on the site would be upgraded and maintenance jobs could be created, the planning application states.
Ms Roberts said: "It's imperative for the future of Strathallan Estate that we have the ability to repair and improve the infrastructure and the arrival of T in the Park would enable us to do this.
"We've looked at various different options, always with the best interests of the estate and the extended local area in mind, and we feel extremely positive that hosting T in the Park would be the right move.
"Not only would it be good for the estate, it would also offer a huge economic injection, a boost in tourism and long-term opportunities for many other local businesses."
In a consultation in the local area last year, 66% of people said they feel positive about the event, 20% were opposed and the rest were undecided, festival bosses said.
T in the Park celebrated its 21st birthday last year and it was staged at the disused Balado airfield in Kinross-shire for much of the last two decades.