Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Tank play park at Duntarvie Castle in West Lothian gets go-ahead

Mini tanks
Image caption A special track will be laid to stop the ground being damaged by the tanks

A West Lothian castle owner has been granted planning permission to build the country's first tank play park.

Geoffrey Nicholsby, from Edinburgh, plans to use money from the venture to restore the A-listed Duntarvie Castle near Winchburgh.

Mr Nicholsby, who is also a kiltmaker, plans to rent out small motorised tanks, which will be fitted with lasers that can immobilise other tank engines.

Councillors granted planning permission against officials' recommendations.

The park will be open for eight hours, seven days a week.

Mr Nicholsby told the BBC Scotland news website that he planned to have the project up and running on the eight acre site by summer 2014.

Image caption Duntarvie Castle was bought as a ruin by Geoffrey Nicholsby about 20 years ago

Initially he will have four of the miniature tanks, each costing £10,000.

He then plans to add another four tanks to the site.

He said: "They weigh about half a tonne each and adults can fit in them no problem.

"I've had a shot in one and they are great fun."

He said a special track would be laid to stop the ground being damaged by the tanks.

Mr Nicholsby added that he needed to raise about £1m to make the castle wind and water-tight.

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