24th May 2019
The Ptarmigan Restaurant at Cairngorm Mountain is to be renovated and extended after planning permission was granted by the Cairngorms National Park Authority planning committee today (Friday 24 May).
The proposals for the building – which houses the funicular railway terminus, exhibition, shop, restaurant and visitor facilities – will be altered to make the internal layout more user friendly with better toilet provision and a larger restaurant and general improvements to the visitor experience on arrival at the top station. In addition, the building will be modestly extended with new viewing platforms wrapping around the building, which will sit on stilts.
Katherine Donnachie, Planning Officer at the CNPA explained: “Much of the work involved is internal and will make a positive difference to how people move about and it will make things like snow clearance and access much easier. Externally, while they are seeking to extend the building, the visual impacts will be minimal. The layout and design of the new development are wholly satisfactory and I think that it offers an attractive design solution for a mountain environment.”
Despite concerns from members about the long-term viability and management of the ski resort as well as questions raised about the lack of masterplan for Cairngorm Mountain, planning committee members agreed to approve the application.
Eleanor Mackintosh, Convener of the CNPA planning committee commented: “Cairngorm Mountain is a key visitor attraction in the Cairngorms National Park and particularly important to the economy of Badenoch and Strathspey and sadly it has made headlines over these last six months for all the wrong reasons – but none of this is relevant in planning terms. Our decision as a committee has to be based on policy grounds and there is sufficient support for this application with our policy on supporting economic growth as well as developments that support sports and recreation facilities. Despite the continued issues with the funicular railway, there are solid planning reasons to support the application.”
Cairngorm Mountain is one of three ski resorts in the Cairngorms National Park in addition to The Lecht and Glenshee.
To read the planning papers in full please go to https://cairngorms.co.uk/meeting/planning-2019-05-24