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Scottish hill tracks debate held

Posted 11 June 2010
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Scottish hill tracks debate held
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Those who like to go walking or ride on mountain bikes in the Scottish countryside may be less likely to encounter unsightly hill tracks after a debate in the Scottish parliament.

Following a campaign that involved a petition signed by 2,500 people, MSP Peter Peacock told members at Holyrood there is a planning anomaly that means Scotland's national parks have less protection against the creation of such tracks than other areas.

Describing this as an "astonishing anomaly", he observed: "It is quite possible for hill tracks to appear in national park areas without any public scrutiny of the process whatsoever."

Mr Peacock went on to call f0r ministerial action to tighten planning laws, pointing to recommendations on the subject made in a report produced by Heriot-Watt University in 2007.

Such a legal change could improve the environment for those visiting the Loch Lomond and Trossachs and Cairngorms national parks.

These two areas, which were created in 2002 and 2203 respectively, cover a total of 5665 sq km of area between them.

Posted by Dan Mirza