'Village in a forest' to plant High Street life within Cairngorms National Park
THE guardians of Scotland's largest national park have approved a controversial plan to build up to 1,500 houses in a new "village in a forest".
It is claimed the new settlement, An Camas Mr (the big bay), on the Rothiemurchas Estate near Aviemore – one of the projects in the Scottish Government's sustainable communities initiative – will become a model for living in an environmentally sensitive area.
It is the only proposal for a new community in a UK national park and aims to include all ages, income groups and household sizes.
The village of more than 2,000 people will include a high street, apartments, tenements, a hotel, a pub, community buildings and lower-density woodland homes.
Developers say it will use green and energy-saving technologies and discourage car use by providing public transport links, footpaths and cycle tracks.
They also plan to create "compensatory" wildlife habitat to replace that lost through development.
The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) planning committee unanimously backed the project in principle, voting ten to nine in favour of up to 1,500 homes rather than the 1,100 recommended by officials.
The committee attached conditions, including the need for road improvements and a landscape and ecology plan before the full masterplan is submitted.
But the plan was attacked by conservationists and Ramblers, who say it will compromise the park's integrity. In February, Scottish Government planning reporters said they did not accept the need for the An Camas Mr project.
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