Cairngorms eco cabins gain planning approval

The Cairngorms National Park Authority planning committee has granted planning permission for twelve contemporary holiday cabins in Donside.

The cabins, which will be delivered by Blackbyre Developments, aim of attract more domestic and international travellers to the eastern edge of the Cairngorms.

Based in Corgarff and situated on the Snow Roads scenic driving route, the cabins will be located in a tourist hotspot only a few miles from the Lecht Ski Centre and the historic Corgarff Castle.

Designed by MAC Architects, the cabins will sit amongst a Scots pine forest and are made using sustainable materials with power provided from renewable energy sources.

Rachel Gray of Blackbyre Developments said: “We are pleased to be given the go ahead for this innovative project in Corgarff. Over recent years Donside has seen many local businesses close despite the high number of tourists passing through the area. Corgarff and Strathdon have just as much to offer the domestic and international traveller as some of the best performing tourism destinations in Scotland. This development will enable more visitors to stay overnight and increase spend in local businesses and visitor attractions.

“Our aim is to offer the visitor an exceptional experience of the Cairngorms National Park. The cabins we have designed are totally unique and will be powered using the latest renewable technologies offering guests the experience of eco living whilst living amongst Scotland’s nature and wildlife. The cabins will be as off grid as possible and we will also be installing electric car charging points for vehicles in the car parking area.

“The Snow Roads driving route has increased the amount of visitors driving through Donside. Visit Aberdeenshire’s ambition is to grow visitor spend in the region to £1 billion per year by 2023 and Donside should be able to contribute to that. We expect to welcome our first guests in 2020.”

Jo Robinson, regional director for Visit Scotland, said: “I am encouraged to see businesses investing in new product at a time when tourism is central to Aberdeenshire’s economic strategy and a key sector for growth. The Cairngorms National Park welcomes a wide range of visitors each year to the area, and visitor numbers look set to rise with the launch last year of the Snow Roads Scenic Route and the North East 250 touring route.

“It is essential that visitors to the National Park, as well as travellers on the touring routes and the many skiers, wildlife-watchers and adventure seekers already visiting the area, are well served by quality accommodation. This development is the kind of high quality asset advocated within the national tourism strategy - Tourism Scotland 2020 – as part of Scotland’s collective ambition to be recognised as a destination of first choice.”

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