Highland Spring gets approval for inland terminal

Bottled water giant Highland Spring has won permission to build a freight train depot in Blackford.

Highland Spring said the project was vital to slash the firm’s carbon footprint and help the business grow.

But the proposal came up against opposition from neighbours who argued an increase in HGVs travelling to and from the site would pose a road safety risk. They also claimed the site would be noisy and the 60ft crane would overshadow surrounding homes.

Perth and Kinross Council received nearly 100 letters and emails calling for the scheme to be scrapped. However, members of the development management committee yesterday unanimously backed the application.

Brian McCluskey, operations director for Highland Spring, said the business, formed in Blackford in 1979, is now the second-biggest bottled water firm in the UK, selling to 50 countries worldwide.

“We always strive to do the right thing by people affected by the business; on this occasion, it is going to be impossible to keep everyone happy,” he said.

He added that the rail yard expansion would see 20 fewer HVGs travelling through Blackford and would lead to a significant cut in emissions.

Councillor Murray Lyle called for the plan to be approved, saying:

“Inevitably, this will bring change to the village, but I’m sure many people on Moray Street will be pleased they won’t have so many lorries going past their homes.”

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