27th January 2017
A planning application for an access track at Cairngorm Mountain and tourist accommodation projects at Inshriach near Kingussie were granted approval today (Friday 27 January).
The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA), meeting in Boat of Garten this morning, approved the developments while being critical of the retrospective nature of the applications.
Natural Retreats, operator of the Cairngorm Mountain ski resort, sought permission to retain a 270m track, which was created during the installation of the new Shieling tow but which they now wish to retain to minimise disturbance to other areas of ground in the vicinity and because it provides a safe route away from high voltage cables.
The diversification of a Highland Estate to provide holiday accommodation and improved facilities for guests and workers led to Walter Micklethwait to seek permission to retain a variety of accommodation structures and a converted chicken shed housing a small scale gin distillery. An element of his application also contained planning proposals to reconstruct a reclaimed railway station building to contain toilets and additional distillery space – a project which is not yet underway.
Speaking at the meeting, Eleanor Mackintosh, Convener of the CNPA Planning Committee said: “Both applications comply with our planning policies but it is frustrating that the applicants did not gain the correct planning consents before undertaking their developments. That said – I am happy to support the enterprising developments at Inshriach – I think it provides the area with a unique tourist accommodation offering for visitors.
“I am also pleased that the proposals we are giving planning permission for at Cairngorm Mountain include a long term restoration plan for a wider area of ground, including the creation of new montane woodland habitat. This careful approach to balancing the operation of the ski resort with sensitive long term management of the ski area’s natural habitats is one we look forward to seeing as an integral part of all future plans to enhance the offering on the mountain.”
You can read the planning papers in full on the CNPA website: http://cairngorms.co.uk/meeting/planning-2017-01-27/