Prince Charles diner in Cairngorms gets green light

PRINCE Charles' plans to open a Royal Deeside diner in the flood stricken '˜Jewel of the Cairngorms' have been given approval.

Prince Charles gets permission to open restaurant in Ballatar. Picture: Ian Rutherford

The Duke of Rothesay, as he is known in Scotland, is to bring his esteemed Highgrove brand to a pop up restaurant and shop in Ballater after getting planning permission.

It is hoped that the new eatery’s Royal connections could give the Aberdeenshire village a much needed tourism boost in the wake of devastating winter storms.

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The village was badly affected by New Year flooding, with hundreds of homes and scores of businesses swamped with water when river defences failed during Storm Frank.

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Prince Charles wants to open restaurant in flood-stricken Ballater

The Prince had been spending the festive season nearby on the Royal Family’s Balmoral Estate when the River Dee burst its banks on December 30 and sent a torrent of destruction across the area.

He visited the village just a day after the flood waters receded and has since embarked on a fundraising drive to get local businesses back on their feet.

Now it is hoped that the conversion of a former Co-op store into the prestigious Rothesay Rooms could happen within weeks.

The application for the Rothesay Rooms was submitted through the prince’s Great Steward of Scotland’s Dumfries House Trust last month and has now been granted approval.

Half of the development is earmarked for the luxury Highgrove shop, modelled on the Prince’s English outlets.

The other half will contain a restaurant serving locally sourced British food for up to 40 covers, as well as creating jobs for villagers.

The restaurant is expected to run for two years.

Deputy executive director of Dumfries House, Kenneth Dunsmuir, said: “The Great Steward of Scotland’s Dumfries House Trust’s outreach programme welcomes the approval of local authority planning permission for our restaurant and Highgrove shop in Ballater.

“We are hopeful that the facility will open later this month and are looking forward to welcoming both local people and tourists to the premises.

“We are delighted to be playing our part in helping the Ballater community get back on its feet after the devastating effects of last year’s flooding.”

The winter flooding was the second disaster to strike the rural village last year.

The Old Royal Station, where Queen Victoria would alight from the royal carriage on her annual visit to Balmoral, was lost in a devastating fire back in May.

Many thought the loss of the landmark building, combined with the flooding, may have sounded the death knell for the village as the local economy relies heavily on summer tourism.