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New footbridge over River Don

16th December 2009

A new footbridge is set to be built over the River Don which will provide more walking opportunities in the Strathdon area and create a safe link to Lonach Hall.

The Cairngorms National Park Authority’s planning committee has approved the installation of a 23.5m long 1.5m wide steel beam bridge with aluminium grill sections and timber posts and balustrades.

The Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust (COAT) scheme will link Waterside Road on the western edge of the Don to the eastern bank, close to the site of the previous bridge and provide a footpath leading to Lonach Hall. The committee has also given the green light for a 1.5mwide, 560m long aggregate footpath suitable for people of all abilities on land south-west of Lonach Hall. This will include a 5m long timber footbridge which will cross a ditch directly south of the Culquhonnie Hotel.

CNPA Planning Officer Robert Grant told the committee: ” The aim of the project is to create a high quality link path over the River Don to the Lonach Hall, providing greater opportunities to connect a number of walks in the area and provide safe access to the hall.” He added: “The proposed path has been identified as one which the local community aspired to see brought forward within the Core Paths planning consultation, undertaken by the CNPA in 2006 and 2007. It will reinstate linkages from Strathdon/Bellbeg on the western side of the river to the Lonach Hall on the eastern side.”

All the work was approved subject to conditions.

The committee has also approved a COAT proposal for the installation, subject to conditions, of a 7m long 1.5m wide timber  footbridge over a burn which feeds into the Clunie Water and construction of a 1,170m path at Clunie Water to Glenshee Road, Braemar. The aim of this scheme is to create a high quality path from the Clunie Water linking in with the Glenshee Road and Queen’s Drive, providing greater opportunity to connect a number of walks in the area and provide safe access along the A93. This project was identified as a popular option in the Core Paths planning exercise.

COAT manager Dougie Baird said: “It is great news that we have planning permission, we can now take this project forward for fundraising”