The Minister for Local Government and Planning, Derek Mackay joined Scottish Land & Estates for a visit to Burncastle Farm in the Lammermuirs, hosted by Northumberland Estates.
The Minister was able to see at first hand how important a well maintained road system is for the extensive sheep enterprise at Burncastle Farm, with some hefts a distance of seven miles from the farm entrance, and to understand the decision process when building and maintaining roads. He saw a variety of older and more recent hill roads, including the Southern Upland Way which crosses the farm, and proposed routes for extraction of timber from the near mature forestry plantations at Burncastle. Grouse shooting also takes place and the staff were able to explain to the Minister how the different enterprises are integrated. This visit followed the recent debate about Permitted Development Rights for private roads for forestry and agricultural use. The Minister said It is good to see examples of how well managed tracks have a minimal impact on the countryside. This reinforces my view that it is important that we strike the correct balance between development and the protection of our environment and we will continue to work with stakeholders to promote good practice and design.