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Last Updated: Friday, 24 June, 2005, 14:27 GMT 15:27 UK
Green light for G8 'eco-village'
Organisers successfully bid for an "eco-village" on the outskirts of Stirling
Plans to create an eco-village for thousands of G8 campaigners have been given the green light by councillors.

Protest group Convergence 2005 sought permission for a camp site at Forthbank, just outside Stirling.

Central Scotland Police raised last minute concerns about the proposals, which will see up to 5,000 people housed at the site for a week.

However, Stirling Council said it was satisfied that all the necessary precautions were in place.

It believes the site, which is bounded on three sides by a river and is close to a main road, poses the least possible risk of disruption to residents and businesses.

The event proposed for Stirling could be an extremely positive initiative that local people should support and take part in
Mark Ruskell
Green MSP

Convergence 2005 said the solar-powered camp, which is due to be up and running by 1 July, would demonstrate the benefits of an ecological way of life.

Green MSP Mark Ruskell congratulated Stirling Council on the decision.

"It is disappointing that a suitable site could not be found closer to Gleneagles Hotel, but at this late stage it is encouraging that Stirling Council have taken a responsible decision to provide much needed facilities for some of the many peaceful protesters who will want to make their voices heard at the G8," he said.

"The event proposed for Stirling could be an extremely positive initiative that local people should support and take part in to discuss the crucial issues of climate change and global poverty, how these impact on Scotland and what we can do to tackle them."

The camp is one of the many alternative events planned to coincide with the G8 summit which will be held at Gleneagles Hotel from 6 to 8 July.

Voiced concerns

The group has already been refused permission for two other sites nearby.

Residents in the village of Ashfield, which is 12 miles from Gleneagles and has a population of about 100, had voiced concerns about the camp being located nearby.

Local farmer John Ramsbotham had been approached by Convergence 2005 but decided against allowing it to use his land as a base.

The proposal was to site the camp at Craigton Farm, in a 40-acre field between the A9 and the Glasgow to Inverness railway line.

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