CAMPAIGNERS opposed to a new sports development being championed by Judy Murray have hit back after she dismissed them as “a small group of organised objectors”.

Community councillors in Dunblane say that complaints have come from more than a thousand separate people who do not wish to see the multi-million pound tennis and golf academy built at Park of Keir, near Dunblane in Perthshire, and claim it would be an erosion of the green belt between the town and Bridge of Allan in Stirlingshire.

Ms Murray has warned she will give up trying to create a national legacy out of her sons, world No 1 singles player Andy and world No 2 doubles player Jamie’s tennis stardom if the development does not go ahead.

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But local councillors David Prescott and Rosemary Hunter said that she should concentrate her efforts elsewhere due to the strength of feeling against the proposal.

In an statement, released to The Herald, they said: "The Community Council did not oppose this application without considerable thought and discussion with the community. Neither does it consider that the objectors are “relatively small group of people.

"The Community Council decided to oppose this quite specific application, because it considered that the loss of a significant part of the countryside between Bridge of Allan and Dunblane is a major risk to the loss of identity of Dunblane as a clearly separate town with its 1,000 year history.

"It is also contrary to the recently completed Local Development Plan, which was fully consulted and reviewed in the planning process. We believe that this application has to be considered, and decided, strictly on planning grounds."

The pair also criticised the tennis coach directly for lending her name to the scheme, which will also see around 19 executive houses, the building of which would part-fund the development, and other sports facilities on the same site.

The letter said that rules regarding developments on green belt land must be followed no matter who is attached to the proposals.

It continued: "To do otherwise could lead to a rash of celebrity-endorsed developments all across Scotland, where the media power of the celebrity is used to overwhelm local communities. This cannot be the vision of a modern Scotland that our government wishes to project.

"The whole concept is a muddle of ideas about its objectives and which, on the basis of the figures that were provided, is going to require ongoing financial support by Tennis Scotland or others and will be unable to support the community facilities that are being proposed for the rest of the site.

"Such a large facility, on such an important site, cannot be reliant on the drive of just one person. This is particularly important as the Public Inquiry established that there is no legal relationship between Judy Murray and the Park of Keir Partnership, so, were permission to be granted, there is no certainty that Judy Murray’s vision would be realised."

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A public inquiry was held in Dunblane in September, and the Reporter’s decision is now more than a month past its target date.

Previously, Ms Murray said: “I’m 57 now and this is four years’ [work]. It’s the final thing for me, the final piece in the puzzle, but if for some reason it doesn’t happen, the creation of a legacy is going to be down to somebody else.“I think I’ve put a lot into this and I’m not sure I could go through another four years at another site. It’s taken too long.”