T in the Park will go ahead at Strathallan Castle despite nesting ospreys
T in the Park 2015 has finally been given the green light by Perth and Kinross Council, who have been considering the organisers' planning application in the light of a couple of ospreys who have set up home on the festival site.
The birds have been nesting near Perthshire's Strathallan Castle for the past few months and, as a protected species, it's illegal to disturb them during breeding season. The 2,500-feet proposed "buffer zone" around the nest, which is required to protect them from noise disturbance, is within the festival site.
The matter attracted further controversy when organisers hired experts to create an "alternative" nest for the ospreys, some distance away from the festival site. At this point the birds were not on site but they ignored the construction (which consisted of a cherry picker, saltire flag and several balloons) and returned to their old nest. The RSPB contacted the police accusing T in the Park organisers of "unethical and unacceptable" behaviour.
Despite protests from environmentalists and several local residents, today — only eight weeks before the scheduled weekend of the festival — councillors approved the planning application submitted by the organisers, DF Concerts.
According to the BBC, the approved plans for the festival include "very strict conditions required by RSPB" to minimise the risk of disturbance to the ospreys and other wildlife in the area.
"It is our intention to work closely with all residents to ensure that we are excellent neighbours and minimise any disruption to local life," said DF Concerts boss Geoff Ellis. "We also hope they will appreciate that it is our intention to continue to work with the relevant authorities and organisations to ensure the long-term protection and safeguarding of the local environment surrounding Strathallan."
The 85,000 music fans who will attend T in the Park this year will be celebrating the decision, as will many locals who supported the application and will benefit financially from the income generated by the event.
T in the Park takes place at Strahallan Castle, Perthshire, between July 10 and July 12, 2015, with Kasabian, The Libertines, Twin Atlantic and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds confirmed to perform.