Plan agreed to shape future of the Park

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  • First development plan for whole of the Park
  • Board agreed to adopt new LDP on March 27
  • Second Core Paths Plan also adopted

A new Local Development Plan (LDP) for the Cairngorms National Park is set to deliver affordable housing, renewable energy projects and more.

Tourism developments and business expansion are also possibilities set to be delivered thanks to the new LDP, which will also ensure the protection of the wildlife, habitats and landscapes the Park is famous for.

It’s an exciting time for us as a planning committee.

Brian Wood, Deputy Convenor CNPA Board

At a meeting in Blair Atholl on Friday March 27, the board of the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) agreed to adopt the LDP, the first ever development plan for the whole of the Park.

Officials from the CNPA and the five local authorities covering the Park will be able to work to a single development plan simplifying the process, bringing continuity and ensuring that the right development happens in the right place.

Murray Ferguson, Director of Planning & Rural Development at the CNPA explained: “The Local Development Plan sets out what type of development is encouraged where and the areas of the National Park to be protected. It contains a range of policies to ensure the best possible outcome in every case helping to guide communities, developers, businesses and landowners as to how their ambitions can be achieved.

“We have restructured and refreshed our planning team recently and the new Plan gives a further opportunity to improve our service still further and to focus on delivery of the right sort of development.”

The last Local Plan has enabled the approval of applications that support business expansion plans including a new cheese manufacturing business near Ballater and new visitor accommodation at Gairnshiel. A steady flow of hydro schemes have also come forward during the period of the previous Local Plan including a community venture near Braemar.

Deputy Convener of the CNPA Board, Brian Wood said: “It’s an exciting time for us as a planning committee as we enter this new era with a development plan that now covers the entire National Park. I am keen to see the Plan influence all our areas of work in nature conservation, visitor experience and rural development.

“The biggest challenge over the next five years will be ensuring that we encourage development that fits with the very special nature of the Park and crucially that we’re allocating land to deliver homes that are high quality and affordable. We now have a development plan before us that will help to achieve that aim. A lot of individual people and groups have taken time to help us shape this Plan – it’s a long and sometimes challenging process but their involvement is critical to our success and I’d like to thank them for their time and energy in getting to this stage.”

Also at the board meeting the second Core Paths Plan for the Cairngorms National Park was adopted. For more details visit