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New lease of life for listed farm buildings near Kingussie

26th January 2018

Planning permission has been granted today (Friday 26th January) for a new attraction just off the A9 at Kingussie, which will involve the conversion of traditional farm buildings as well as the construction of new properties to create a shop, café and visitor facilities.

The project at Balavil Mains Farmhouse is complex with the listed farmhouse and steadings being converted as well as extended to house office facilities and a shop. A new building will also be erected to the north of the site which will become a café and offer visitor facilities and a former mill building will be extended to provide space to host events. The plans also involve the formation of a car parking area and plans for staff facilities and bike storage.

The plans submitted by Balavil Estate were put before the planning committee of the Cairngorms National Park Authority this morning at its meeting in Grantown-on-Spey, with a recommendation for approval by planning officer Katherine Donnachie subject to various conditions.

She said: “The principle of converting existing building stock into a new use is supported by policy in the Cairngorms National Park Local Development Plan as is the commitment to support the conversion and enhancement of listed buildings. This is a project which has the potential to boost the local economy and provide an added tourism offering in the area – and as well as being of good design – the project also provides an opportunity to secure improved pedestrian and cycle access through the Balavil Estate.”

CNPA planning committee Convener Eleanor Mackintosh said: “I think the plans for these redundant buildings look really good. The design is sensitive and in keeping with the local culture and heritage and subject to conditions I support the project.”

A motion had been proposed to refuse the planning application based on concerns around economic impacts on nearby communities but this was defeated by 14 votes to two.