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Planning permission for new bridges along Ballater footpath

30th May 2011

The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) has given the go ahead for the construction of two new footbridges near Ballater, which will mean the extension of an existing popular walk.

The CNPA’s planning committee, meeting in Newtonmore on Friday (27th May), granted the Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust (COAT) planning permission for the two structures. The first bridge crosses a drainage channel to the south of the A93 near the Bridge of Gairn and the second spans the River Gairn some 285 metres to the north of the first bridge, close to where the Gairn meets the Dee.

The Seven Bridges Footpath is a very popular and easy walk around Ballater through woods and open countryside with great views. The path passes through Polhollick, takes walkers through the woods of the Birkhall Estate and returns to Ballater passing through the historic Glen Muick churchyard.

Recommending the bridges for approval, planning officer Mary Grier said: “The introduction of these footbridges to the Seven Bridges Walk would mean that people no longer had to cross the A93 road to navigate the path on the northern side of the road. This will mean a much safer and more enjoyable experience for users and will let them enjoy the tranquillity of the riverside setting and the special qualities of the National Park.”

CNPA Board Member, Gordon Riddler, said: “I regularly walk this route and am delighted to see approval given for these bridges which will increase everyone’s safety and enjoyment. It’s a really popular, all-weather walk which takes in fantastic scenery and I’m looking forward to taking a stroll along without having to cross the A93.”