Plans have been lodged to cash in on the rising interest in farming tourism by creating “glamping” pods in the north-east countryside and allowing guests to help tend a herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle.
Developers want to build the self-catering accommodation at Blackhills, near Lonmay, and the idea already has the backing of some major players from the region’s tourism sector.
Five of the small wooden units would be built at the site if the local authority gives the scheme the go-ahead.
Elgin-based firm CM Designs has submitted the proposals on behalf of client Philip Stewart.
Mr Stewart previously applied for permission to build the pods at the end of last year but those proposals were withdrawn in March.
Now Mr Stewart is hoping to secure permission for the project, and both marketing firm Visit Aberdeenshire and the man behind the North East 250 visitor route have backed his vision.
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The huts would be built in a section of private woodland and a supporting statement submitted alongside the blueprints said Mr Stewart is keen to break into the tourism sector.
It said: “This application has support from local tourist organisations and funders, who are keen to see this kind of development in the area.
“The applicant currently keeps a breeding herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle and is interested in the increase in ‘farming tourism’, where holiday makers choose to work upon a farm as part of their holiday experience.”
Chris Foy, chief executive of Visit Aberdeenshire, said the idea could well boost the economy of Fraserburgh and the wider region.
His letter of support said: “Overnight stays are seen as a growth area for tourism and the provision of high-quality accommodation will increase the attractiveness and dwell time of visitors to the Fraserburgh area and associated economic benefits.”
Guy Macpherson-Grant, the founder of the North East 250 route, said he was giving the proposals his “wholehearted” support.
In a letter backing the development, he said: “The proposed affordable, high quality rental accommodation, allowing individuals and families to enjoy healthy outdoor living in the countryside is just the right thing to further improve the visitor proposition for the north-east.”