Farmer plans £8.5m BP lawsuit after losing T in the Park

A farmer plans to sue petroleum giant BP for £8.5m after organisers switched the venue for T in the Park from his land amid concerns about a nearby oil pipeline.

After 18 years, T in the Park was held at Balado Park in Kinross for the last time earlier this month.

Following safety concerns, event promoters DF Concerts confirmed that, from 2015, Scotland’s biggest music festival will be relocating to a new venue 18 miles away – Strathallan Castle in Auchterarder, Perthshire.

Host farmer Douglas Alexander is said to have broken down in tears after the music festival weekender took place for the final time at Balado on 13 July.

Now Mr Alexander is planning to sue BP after the event was switched to Perthshire amid safety concerns about the Forties North Sea Oil pipeline.

See also: Tips for farm diversifications with a difference

A spokesman for T in the Park said: “The reports are true. Mr Alexander is planning to sue BP for losing the event at Balado.

“He has not spoken about the matter to the press. It’s an ongoing legal dispute.”

Since T in the Park moved to Balado in 1997, it has attracted some of the biggest names in rock music, including REM, The Stone Roses and The Killers. Sheffield rockers Arctic Monkeys brought the final show to a close at Balado this year.

The Scottish Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has repeatedly warned of safety concerns about holding the concert – which attracts more than 80,000 revellers each year – near the North Sea oil pipeline, which carries crude oil from the North Sea to Grangemouth.

Event organisers maintain that HSE bosses told them last year that they would no longer support a planning application on the Balado Park site due to safety concerns associated with the pipeline.

But last month the HSE insisted that the decision to relocate the festival was down to the organisers.

HSE Scotland director Alistair McNab said in a statement: “The likelihood of any major accident at the pipeline is low, but if one were to occur, the consequences would be catastrophic.

“I appreciate that some people are upset that the event is to change location but would like to remind them that the decision has been taken by the organisers, and not the HSE.”

With the threat of legal action pending, BP has not made a statement.

See more