PLANS to create a pathway from the White Church to the Boulevard through a gate in the churchyard wall have "horrified" Comrie residents.

At the last community council meeting a drawing of a path and steps down to the riverbank was revealed but many have said the plans do "not respect the dead."

Residents said they are "shocked" the graveyard would even be considered as something to be interfered with and are concerned with rumours it may lead to the removal of some stones.

The proposal was put to the community council by the community centre who said they wanted a single gate in the wall to the riverbank but were not intending on plans for a path.

However, residents do not want the old graveyard touched.

Long-time resident Betty Gibson, 76, told the Strathallan Times: "Residents in the village are very shaken by these plans as it is not showing any respect for the dead. I can't believe the proposal has even been considered for consecrated ground.

"A strip of grass in the yard does not mean it should be built on or touched. There were many gravestones in the graveyard at one time and sadly they have been knocked down by vandals or in time have fallen down so many families would be very upset to see this area changed or built upon."

Community Council chairman Andrew Finlayson drew up the proposal which he handed round at the last meeting but stressed plans were in their very early stages and the only idea up for discussion would be one that did not require the moving of any gravestones.

At the meeting it was emphasised: "This is just an idea at present, and will need to be carefully considered with the community centre, the church, and the community at large.

"A platform would be formed at the Boulevard, which could be used for events other than weddings. The whole would be in keeping with the present wall, constructed of stone.

"The opportunity might be taken to assess the condition of gravestones generally, and perhaps seek professional advice on what might be done to secure their future and mitigate deterioration."

Community council member Phil Gill said he was "uncomfortable" with the proposal until he had more information but Andrew said he would discuss the idea further with Rev. Graham McWilliams and the community centre.