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Biggest development in a generation goes before Park Planning Committee

7th June 2010

The Planning Committee of the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) is poised to make a decision on one of the biggest developments in a generation in the Park.

A new community – An Camas Mòr – which would comprise more than 1,000 homes and associated business and community facilities is planned for land to the east of the River Spey, close to Coylumbridge, on the outskirts of Aviemore.

The Planning Committee – which meets on Friday (11 June) in Boat of Garten – is being recommended by planning officers to approve, in principle, the application from An Camas Mòr LLP.

Don McKee, CNPA’s Head of Development Management said: “An Camas Mòr has a long and well established history. The concept of a new community in this location predates the existing Badenoch and Strathspey Local Plan – and it has been through a Local Plan inquiry process to be included in that Plan. It’s also in the existing Highland Structure Plan, is in the emerging Cairngorms National Park Local Plan and has been accepted as one of the projects in the Scottish Government’s Sustainable Communities Initiative.”

Duncan Bryden, CNPA Planning Committee Convener added: “This is the largest and most complex application to come before us – indeed it is the only proposal for a new community in a UK National Park. It needs rigorous examination and if approved, this planning committee will be looking for a development of outstanding quality.

“Committee members took part in an extensive site visit on 28 May. This was the latest event in a long process of surveys, research, planning, consultations and dialogue carried out by the applicant with input from statutory bodies like the CNPA, Highland Council, agencies, groups, organisations, the local community and others to get to the point we are at now, which is an application before us for a strategic project that will extend over the next 20 years.”

The application going before the planning committee will be assessed against the aims of the Cairngorms National Park and the CNPA’s adopted set of Principles for An Camas Mòr.

The recommendation for approval in principle is based on fewer homes than the applicant has applied for (1,100 as opposed to 1,500) but with a major review of this number after 630 units.

It also refers to the requirement for a landscape and ecology masterplan before a full masterplan is submitted; more information on additional woodland and habitats that will be retained or created; a requirement that there should be no realigned Coylumbridge junction; and the new access road should be provided early in the development and be a construction route from the beginning of it.”

The CNPA Planning Committee is meeting on Friday 11 June at the Boat of Garten Community Hall. The meeting starts at 10am. You can access the planning officer’s report here.