Highland councillors have welcomed plans for a children’s play park at the heart of Strathpeffer, despite objections from some local residents.
Strathpeffer Residents’ Association is behind the project, which will create a vibrant new play park incorporating a bike pump track and zip wire attraction.
There will also be a raised bed for planting and a large equipment shed within the existing public play area, adjacent to Ord Terrace.
And cycle and footpath links will also be created, connecting the site to the surrounding housing development, local school and community centre.
Developers are hopeful the park will help revitalise and improve the visual impact of the area by providing better facilities and opportunities for the wider community.
The plans did, however, prompt 13 objections from Ord Terrace residents, who citing concerns over their impact on residential parking and the environment and an increase in noise nuisance.
They also questioned the size, design and location of the shed.
But during a meeting of the North Planning Committee yesterday at the council headquarters, councillors unanimously welcomed the plans.
Local councillor Derek MacLeod “wholeheartedly” backed the development, saying: “I think the whole idea is a good improvement on what is there already.
“Strathpeffer is very fortunate to have such an area central to the village and accessible from the community centre and school.
“On that basis I would support it wholeheartedly.”
Committee chairwoman, councillor Maxine Smith, said she would “welcome” a development of this such quality within her own local constituency.
Developers are now focusing on gaining control of an area of council-owned land and securing the £300,000 funding needed for phased construction.
Once underway, it is estimated the project will take between six to eight months to complete.
David Genney, chairman of Strathpeffer Residents’ Association said he was delighted by the decision.
He said: “Before you embark on a project like this, you don’t really appreciate how much work goes into providing all the technical information required to get a big project like this through to planning.
“We were quietly confident that we had done all the work and everything possible to show good practice and show them the benefits would outweigh any temporary inconvenience during the construction, but it’s a great relief to have the planning approved.
“There were legitimate concerns about parking but I think we have thought really carefully about all of the elements and we have done everything we possibly can to mitigate the impact.”
Mr Genney added: “The current play park has heras fencing around it. It is blocked-off and people can’t actually use it so at the moment there is essentially no play park in Strathpeffer.
“For people to have it on their doorstep and for it to be within reach of the school, without anyone having to cross over any major roads will, I think, be transformational.”