Plans for restaurant and housing in Aviemore recommended for approval
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Plans for a restaurant and a small housing estate at the north end of Aviemore are being recommended 'on balance' for approval by Cairngorms National Park Authority planners.
Cairngorm Residential LLP is behind the application for seven homes which was previously occupied by the property Lairig View and its steading but which were recently knocked down as part of the new proposal.
The bid also includes plans for a 'production' building at the site which is just off the B9152 road and opposite Robertson's Lochan Mor housing estate.
Gavin Miles, the CNPA's head of strategic planning, is recommending that members of the park authority's planning committee approve the plans when they are considered next Friday at their Grantown headquarters.
Mr Miles states: "It is proposed to develop seven houses across the site and a restaurant and production building towards the roadside of the site.
"The applicant knows a local business that manufactures a craft gin and wants to expand a visitor-facing element of their distillery business to the site and to operate the restaurant.
"However, the restaurant could be operated by anyone and subject to appropriate consents, the production facility could be used by another operator or for a different purpose."
The proposed houses are all timber-clad with sheet metal roofs in a contemporary style that reflects traditional timber buildings.
Five of the houses are detached four-bedroom units and two are semi-detached properties.
The applicant proposes the latter as the affordable housing with an additional sum to make the total contribution to affordable housing up to the equivalent of 3.15 units that a 45 per cent contribution for Aviemore would require.
On the other plans for the site, Mr Miles states: "The restaurant building will be a slightly more complex one-and-half-storey building that is timber clad and slate roofed, with some elements of natural stone.
"The production shed will sit on the western edge of the restaurant building and be metal-clad with a flat sedum green roof.
"All of the restaurant facilities will be located on the ground floor, with the first floor being available for use as staff accommodation in future."
Mr Miles believes the housing could help establish a new distinct boundary at the north end of the village.
He explains: "It is also relevant that the landscape to the north of Aviemore has been one of change over the past 20 years and will continue to change in future.
"The housing development opposite the site is now about 15 years old and its structural landscaping has established significantly remodelling what was previously open farmland into Aviemore.
"The approach to Aviemore from the north is interspersed with views of housing, footpaths leading from the town to the recent go-cart track and caravan and camp site to the north of Aviemore.
"The road signage approach to Aviemore now begins well before the settlement boundary of the Local Development Plan is reached, and views of the built development edges of Aviemore are a strong edge.
"In addition, the land around this site and elsewhere to the north of Aviemore is likely to experience further change in future.
"It is part of the established housing land supply, not allocated for development, but likely to be considered in future LDPs given the need for housing and for affordable housing in the Aviemore area."
Mr Miles concludes: "Some developments do not neatly fit planning policy and require more complex balancing and judgements of policy requirement in order to be determined.
"This application has a number of well-conceived elements and a strong design but also challenges the established pattern of development in the landscape on the edge of Aviemore and proposes an internal road and drainage layout that would be unlikely to be adopted by the local authority.
"On the balance of impacts and benefits of the development the application is recommended for approval subject to conditions and to developer obligations relating to affordable housing and primary education infrastructure improvements."
The road junction to the site will have traffic calming measures installed on the B9152 to warn drivers and new pavement will be extended along the west side of the B9152 to the entrance of the site.
A small burn runs on the northern boundary of the site and has corridor of trees that follow it. The riparian corridor will be protected with a six-metre buffer zone to the new houses.