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Projects that boost the economy granted planning permission in Park

10th December 2021

Projects supporting the Cairngorms National Park economy have been given the go ahead by the Cairngorms National Park Authority  at its latest Planning Committee meeting.

Commercial business units in Deeside and improvements to visitor facilities at the Highland Wildlife Park were approved this morning (Friday 10 December).

A former quarry used by Aberdeenshire Council’s roads maintenance department will now be home to eight light industrial units together with an amenity block, parking areas and other associated infrastructure. The ‘Lion’s Face Quarry’ on the Invercauld Estate, close to Braemar, will bring this underused, brownfield site back into productive use, addressing a local need for low cost business premises in the area.

At Kincraig, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) has been given planning consent for several new buildings at their Highland Wildlife Park in order to expand their existing visitor facilities. The development will also provide a new gateway to the Cairngorms highlighting the conservation work of the RZSS, including their ongoing protection and conservation work for endangered species.

A new Discovery Hub, Learning Hub and Hilltop Hub are all on the cards along with alterations to the existing visitor centre. The developments will allow RZSS to offer visitors an improved experience, particularly for disabled visitors and family groups. The new Discovery Hub will contain an interactive exhibition while the Learning Hub will provide offices, a small meeting area and a large multi-purpose classroom with the Hilltop Hub providing a covered viewpoint area.

Two separate applications for self-catering holiday bothies at Killiehuntly, near Kingussie were also on the agenda but members voted to defer a decision on these until a site visit could be carried out.

Speaking at the online meeting, Planning Committee Convener, Dr Gaener Rodger said: “Developments that will make a positive contribution to the economy of the Cairngorms National Park, whether aimed at visitors or residents are extremely important at this time, especially when you consider the impact that Covid-19 has had on businesses in the area. The applications we have approved today are very positive developments for the Cairngorms National Park. I fully support our officers’ recommendations to grant planning permission for the business units and the new buildings at the Highland Wildlife Park.”

To read today’s planning papers in full please go here.