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Double success for Snow Roads at Planning Awards

10th November 2017

The ‘Snow Roads’ in the Cairngorms National Park picked has up not one, but two awards at the prestigious Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning.

The awards celebrate achievements in planning, from the detail of processing to the bigger picture of creating places – and for the ‘Snow Roads’ this meant awards in the Place category as well as winning the People’s Choice award.

The ‘Snow Roads’ is an outstanding mountainous journey through the Cairngorms National Park linking Blairgowrie (A93) to Grantown-on-Spey (A939) via Glenshee, Braemar, Ballater The Lecht and Tomintoul. It is the highest ‘A’ road in Britain and is already a destination for  classic car, motor bike enthusiasts and road cyclists, traversing eastern Cairngorms through remote, wild, breath-taking landscapes and vibrant historic communities with castles, distilleries, ski centres and much more.

The ‘Snow Roads’ initiative was part of the Scottish Government’s Scenic Routes project. It enhances the travellers experience of Scotland’s landscape through innovatively designed viewpoints. There are now three installations and upgraded laybys on the route at the famous Devil’s Elbow at Glenshee, at Corgarff and at Craighaulkie Quarry on the outskirts of Tomintoul.

The first installation was on the A939 at Corgarff – ‘The Watchers’ – a group of cowled seats where people can take in the views over Glen Avon and Deeside. At Glenshee there is a viewpoint seat, path and visitor information point at the layby at Creagan Nam Cam titles ‘Connecting Contours’ and the last one of the trio is ‘Still’ where an improved path takes you to an elevated viewpoint cube with stunning views of the Cairngorms.

The work was led by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) with Head of Visitor Services at the CNPA, Pete Crane seeing the project to fruition. He said: “It is a fantastic endorsement of the project to receive these two awards. Although the Park Authority led the work there were a number of partners involved, from the newly qualified architects who designed the viewpoints, supported by landscape architects Ian White Associates, to local landowners and the Cairngorms Business Partnership who now have the job of developing the route to offer visitors a truly immersive experience.

“We are particularly delighted to have won the People’s Choice award. It is a great drive through the Cairngorms National Park and should be enjoyed at a relaxed place to fully appreciate the landscape and the communities along the way.”

Gordon Riddler, Deputy Convenor of the CNPA Planning Committee said: “For me it was a privilege to attend the awards ceremony in Edinburgh. All of the 22 shortlisted projects were well presented and demonstrated a great deal of innovation and high quality input to planning throughout Scotland. Working successfully in partnership with others, for CNPA to have received these awards is a reflection of hard work and dedication by our staff to this project.”

Mark Tate of the Cairngorms Business Partnership added: “These are worthy awards for the exceptional work undertaken by the Cairngorms National Park Authority. The Cairngorms Business Partnership has been successful in securing Destination Development Funding from Scottish Enterprise to bring the route to life and we will create a truly immersive visitor experience along the ‘Snow Roads’ which will provide 90 miles of opportunity both for our visitors, our businesses and our communities.”