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More land at Macdonald Aviemore Resort could be developed for housing

By Gavin Musgrove

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Part of the extensive hard-standing at the Macdonald Aviemore Resort.
Part of the extensive hard-standing at the Macdonald Aviemore Resort.

Plans could be coming forward for two potentially major new developments at the Macdonald Aviemore Resort.

They are for a residential development with a mixture of private and affordable homes and staff accommodation at the large unused car park and hardstanding near the Scandinavian Village and for more holiday lodges at the site of the dry ski slope.

Two separate PANs (Proposal of Application Notification) are going before the Cairngorms National Park Authority's planning committee tomorrow to inform members about the forthcoming plans.

PANs allow members to raise any views on the issues to be addressed in an application for major developments but they will not able to discuss the merits of the application at this stage.

CNPA planning officer Stephanie Wade states in her report for the housing PAN: "The proposal is the formation of a residential development of open market and affordable units with associated infrastructure within the Macdonald Aviemore Resort... The site comprises large areas of predominantly vacant and underused land.

"A large area of the site is laid as hardstanding which include parking areas. Dispersed around these areas is woodland, scattered trees, and grassed areas. The Scandinavian Village adjoins the north-western area of the application site.

"The resort operates to the south of the application site and includes the hotels, conference centre facilities, associated leisure uses including a swimming pool, retail outlet and holiday lodges."

Potential material planning considerations are listed as including the principle of development; landscape impacts; design and layout; environmental impacts and impacts on neighbouring amenity.

The second proposal for holiday lodges has an indicative lay-out for 27 chalets with an internal road layout, parking and path links on the 2.9 hectares site.

The land is currently predominantly grass with clusters of trees and a corridor of trees along the western boundary which adjoins the A9 Inverness-Perth road.

An area of hardstanding is located adjacent to the internal access road on the eastern side of the site. To the north, the site adjoins the activity and leisure centre of the resort. The site includes land recorded within the Ancient Woodland Inventory.

Both reports state the applicant proposes to hold the required public consultation events within six months of the submission date of the PANs for a duration of no less than seven days.

The two sites form part of a wider allocated area for ‘mixed use’ within the Cairngorms National Park Local Development Plan 2021.

Ms Wade states the allocation 'offers an opportunity for the enhancement and diversification of the current uses including the provision of additional housing, retail, recreation, and employment spaces.'

There is also a development brief for the site agreed by the park authority which provides non statutory planning guidance and details on site constraints and opportunities and development requirements.

The CNPA's planning committee agreed a procedure to allow member involvement in pre-application advice for major planning applications in December 2015.

These two PANs are amongst only a few that have come forward to date.

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