Dame Ann Gloag’s contentious proposals for a woodland holiday village on her Beaufort estate near Beauly have inched forward, with Highland councillors approving planning in principle for the development.
Gloag Investment Properties Portfolio 2 Ltd proposes a 50 lodge development in woodland on the banks of the river Beauly, bounded on one side by the A833 road to Kiltarlity.
The councillors acknowledged community worry about access and forestry management, and have asked the developer to meet a number of conditions in hope of assuaging such concerns.
These include the establishment of a community liaison group to discuss the application.
Local member Margaret Davidson said she had attended the most recent online meeting of Kiltarlity community council and found opinion to split evenly, in what she described as a ‘lively debate’.
She said in making up her mind about the proposal she wanted to look at the greater good for the area.
She said: “Some think it’s too big, but those in favour think it’s reasonable for economic development when all they’ve had in the last decade is house building.
“There’s a clear view from younger members that they want to see some economic development, but they’re disappointed it’s still so undetailed.
“When they look at the number of pods in there and talk about quality development, their eyebrows raise.”
Mrs Davidson said a liaison group is vital to see what local good can come out of the development, particularly in terms of paths for safe off-road cycling linking Kiltarlity and Beauly.
The developer is now to bring forward a detailed planning application to support its proposal.