Holyrood’s Environment and Rural Development Committee will meet in Blair Atholl on Monday, 5 February, as part of its inquiry into proposals to extend the boundaries of the Cairngorms National Park.
The Scottish Parliament Committee is scrutinising the general principles of the Cairngorms National Park Boundary Bill which aims to include an area of highland and eastern Perthshire within the park. The bill was introduced by John Swinney MSP as a Members’ bill. It proposes that the Park should include the Forest of Atholl, including the community of Blair Atholl, the Beinn Udlamain mountain group to the west of the A9, and an area around the A93 including Glas Tulaichean and the Spittal of Glenshee (excluding Kirkmichael).
Consequential changes in the composition of the Cairngorms National Park Authority are also proposed.
The committee meeting is open to the public and will take place at 14:00 hours in the Atholl Arms Hotel, Blair Atholl.
Committee Convener, Marureen Macmillan MSP, said:
"The proposals contained in the bill will have a direct impact on communities in Blair Atholl and surrounding areas which could become included within the park boundaries. The committee is keen to ensure that it hears from those who would be affected by this measure and ensure local people are involved in the debate.”
The committee will hear from invited witnesses, including various people and organisations with an interest in the area and the national park. Seats will be available for members of the public to attend and they will have the opportunity to speak with members of the committee.
On 22 November 2006, the committee issued a call for evidence seeking comment on various elements of the bill. The deadline for written responses was Monday 22 January 2007.
The bill was introduced to the Parliament on 21 September 2006 by John Swinney MSP as a Members’ Bill.
The Environment and Rural Development Committee was selected as the designated lead committee for Stage 1 scrutiny. At Stage 1, a subject committee examines the general principles of a bill and recommends to the Parliament whether the general principles should be agreed. As part of this process, a committee usually takes written and oral evidence from interested parties.
As well as the meeting in Blair Atholl, the committee will take evidence on this bill at its meetings in Edinburgh on 31 January 2007 and 13 February 2007. Written evidence received along with Official Report transcripts of evidence given to committee meetings will be available on the above website.