Environment to the fore for games work

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SPECIAL care will be taken at Barry Buddon Ministry of Defence training camp, near Carnoustie, to prepare it for the shooting sports in next year’s Commonwealth Games.

Although the games will be based in Glasgow, all the disciplines of the shooting event will be held at Barry Buddon which lies on the north coast of the Tay Estuary and covers 1,186 hectares of coastal plain and dunes adjacent to Carnoustie Golf Links. The military training area is located within one of the largest intact sand dune sites in Britain

Most of the MoD training camp is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), an EU Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a Special Protection Area (SPA) for birds under the European Birds Directive.

An application for full planning permission for work valued at £5 million has been submitted to Angus Council by Glasgow 2014 Ltd.

In a report submitted to Angus Council infrastructure services department, the Aberdeen office of planning consultants Halliday Fraser Munro reveal that the venue development has focused on developing a strategy to minimise the ecological and environmental impact while delivering temporary upgrades to the existing full bore gallery shooting range at Barry North; one temporary combined 10m/50m enclosed shooting range for pistol and small bore; one temporary 25m enclosed shooting range for pistol and small bore; three temporary clay target ranges for trap and skeet; and a range of temporary back-of-house and front-of-house facilities; access routes; temporary structures for media, spectators and athletes; temporary infrastructure and utility provisions.

The consultants state that Barry Buddon has the only suitable full bore range in Scotland and also has the required firearms licencing. A study was carried out in 2010 to review the proposals and concluded that the only viable venue in Scotland is Barry Buddon Training Camp.

A number of mitigation measures have been developed, including siting of most of the games infrastructure on the adjacent golf course, away from the sensitive sand dune habitats.

Removal of vegetation will take place outside of the bird nesting season to avoid disturbing nesting birds. Habitat manipulation will be undertaken to discourage reptile species from entering the games area.

Turf that has to be removed will be removed carefully from the most sensitive habitats, so that the it can be put back once the games have finished and the infrastructure is removed.

In other areas contractors will ensure that the topsoil is replaced carefully, so that the seed bank in the topsoil can regrow and the vegetation re-establish itself.

Measures will also be put in place to ensure that lead shot can be collected and not left behind to pollute the ground.

A detailed habitat restoration plan will also be produced to ensure that the sensitive vegetation is restored and is managed properly for a suitable period following the completion of the games.

The report states that, if the mitigation measures are adhered to, the impacts on the nature conservation value of the site, in particular the sensitive sand dune vegetation, is considered to be not significant.

Spectators arriving by car will be directed from the A92 to the A930 Carlogie Road and into a temporary park and ride site at Carlogie.

The majority of athletes and officials (the games family) will be accommodated at a central Dundee hotel. These groups will travel to the site via the A92.

Some games family and media will be accommodated at the Carnoustie Golf Hotel. Members of this group are anticipated to travel to the venue via the A930 or via the pathway that runs to the immediate south of the railway line.

Construction and other heavy traffic will access the venue from the A92 Upper Victoria junction and the new link road to the A930 to avoid travelling through Carnoustie High Street.

It is considered that any impact on local retail will be far outweighed by the beneficial effect of the additional comparison expenditure generated by up to 4,492 people arriving at the venue for the competition. As the spectator park and ride will be located within Carnoustie, there will also be a beneficial impact on the vitality and vibrancy of the town centre, during the period of the games.

This would not only have direct positives for local businesses and the surrounding hospitality industry it would also have a trickle-down effect on the surrounding area as people travel through the nearby countryside to arrive at the venue.

In addition, there will be the opportunity for the local community to act as volunteers during the Games providing them with a once in a lifetime opportunity. There would also be short term employment opportunities for local people for paid workforce roles during the games.

In conclusion, the report states: “The development of the Commonwealth Shooting Venue at Barry Buddon has been designed and engineered to minimise the impact on the Barry Buddon site.

“The development will not have an unacceptable adverse impact on the environmental designations and will create a high quality venue that will have a positive social and economic impact on the locality as well as Scotland as a whole.”

n Do you think that the developments being undertaken at Barry Buddon and the shooting disciplines being held there will be of benefit to Carnoustie and Monifieth?

E-mail arbroath.herald @jnscotland.co.uk; fax to 01241 431438 or comment at www.twitter.com/GuideGazette or on our Facebook page