LAST Saturday’s Big Read ("Angry locals battle to save the Bonnie Banks from large-scale developments", The Herald, January 2) offered a highly unbalanced view on our plans to build the Hunter Global Leadership Centre (HGLC) in partnership with Strathclyde University at Ross Priory.

The impression given was of mass objections to the development, a development much needed for Scotland and indeed in support of investment in the historic Ross Priory.

We have consulted on this development for years now and formally contacted the planning authority in March, 2020 on our plans and after detailed consultation, including with the local community and significant and multiple studies – from wildlife habitats to the environment to light pollution – amended our plans significantly to address concerns raised. Indeed our plans now deliver a significant environmental benefit connecting Ross Priory and our development to the mains sewer; Ross Priory sewage currently exits into Loch Lomond via a reed bed prone to flooding.

The proposals have the support of Friends of Loch Lomond and received unilateral approval from the planning authority committee but not without significant conditions – and rightly so, the authority has been highly diligent on that and before touching a blade of grass we will undertake numerous studies and commit to many mitigation measures.

The planning document notes on the HGLC development that it “would not give rise to significant environmental effects”.

As to objections, none of the bodies paid to assess this development – from the environmental regulator, Sepa, to protector of our natural heritage, SNH and many more – objected, but Kilmaronock Community Council did. It received 72 responses to a survey on the HGLC; 20 in support of the development and 51 against – from a population of circa 700 or so hardly a landslide, but these loud voices now seek to beat sound judgment and attempt to derail an outstanding world class development.

For our part we continue to work with all relevant parties to deliver a world-class facility for Scotland.

Sir Tom Hunter, Dundonald.


I SIMPLY cannot accept the opinion of Dr Gillian Wright (Letters, January 2), effectively advocating that every life must be saved, if at all possible – irrespective of the wishes of the person themselves, and it is my belief, providing we are of sound mind when we make that decision, we should all have the right to determine the timing of our own demise.

A few years ago, I wrote to my doctor saying that I wished "Do not resuscitate" to be on my own medical records. As can perhaps be imagined, this prompted a phone call from my doctor asking a very direct question, namely: "If you collapsed in our surgery you want us to do nothing?" It was a moment when I actually faced what my wish meant, and, after a slight pause, my answer was "Yes, correct."

After having been married for some 53 years, my life effectively came to an end some three years ago when my wife died, now buried next to our predeceased daughter, and my son knows, were I ever to be diagnosed with dementia and as there is no other option, it is my intention to commit suicide before I was incapable of doing so.

I certainly do not wish Dr Wright or anyone else for that matter to "keep me alive" purely to satisfy their own perceived "value" which they place on my life.

I fully recognise that this is a very sensitive issue but as one gets older, as family and friends unexpectedly die, one both accepts and recognises the inevitability of our journey – and that is death – and each one of us should have the right, if one is beyond the scope of medical science, to decide that the time is right.

Alan McKinney, Edinburgh EH16.


YET again we have another jeremiad from the good grammar people (Letters, December 31). The purpose of all speech and writing is to take a thought from one person’s head and put it in other people’s heads. One can do this in an elegant or a barbarous way, but following the “Rules of Good Grammar” does not guarantee elegance, nor does breaking them guarantee barbarity.

The Roman writer Pliny once held a dinner party at which a slave gave readings from the classics. When the slave made a grammatical mistake, a guest upbraided him. Pliny asked this guest if he had understood the meaning, and when the answer was “Yes”, Pliny asked why he had interrupted the reading. “Good” grammar only indicates that you are educated.

Charlie Friel, Clydebank.


LESLIE Evans, Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government has been criticised for the terminology she used in a presentation some time ago. But is it justified?

As an avid reader of all technical publications relating to the waste management industry, I picked up the following gem from the Zero Waste Scotland's website, recruiting a new member of staff:

"The Outcome Programme Manager for our Responsible Consumption programme is a significant and integral role within our Programme and Projects Directorate. Reporting to the Portfolio Director you will be part of our transformation as we move to a delivery model more focused on the execution of clearly defined programmes and projects to deliver our corporate objectives, and the supporting outcomes."

What exactly does this mean? And will this appointment mean more waste will be recycled?

John F Crawford, Lytham.


MAY I suggest to Thelma Edwards (Letters, January 2) a suitable word to represent the New Brexit Year that rhymes with tummy? How about bummy or dummy?

John Jamieson, Ayr.