The Cairngorms National Park Authority has rejected controversial plans for 20 new homes in Nethy Bridge – on the grounds they would remove ancient woodland and impact the natural environment.
The development by CastleGlen Properties (Aberdeen) Ltd was turned down despite planning officers recommending approval.
The application site is designated for housing in the current local development plan but has been dropped from the next plan.
Permission had been sought for seven affordable homes and 13 open market properties between Craigmore Road and School Road and had some support locally in terms of providing affordable housing in the community.
But CNPA planning committee convener Eleanor Mackintosh said: “This site has a long history of objections to being developed due to its nature conservation and recreation value and while respecting the expert advice of our planners I feel that this is an application which cannot be supported.”
Woodland Trust Scotland welcomed the decision, with spokesman George Anderson saying: “If approved, this application would have led to the direct loss of ancient woodland, in contravention of both local and national planning policy.
That would be wrong anywhere in the country, but much more so in a national park.”
Meanwhile 22 apartments in Kingussie and 40 new homes in Kincraig were given the green light.
Ms Mackintosh added: “The decisions we have to make are not always straight forward and sometimes the outcome is unpopular but I hope the public feel we have made the right choices today.”