Plans for an “impressive” multi-million pound hotel and retail development in a Highland village will eventually bring 70 jobs to the area.
The £10million plans at the Tomatin junction of the A9 will initially create 35 to 40 jobs with numbers expected to rise to 70 once fully operational.
The proposed development has been lodged with Highland Council by William Frame, Managing Director of Tomatin Trading Company, in the latest move in what has been a decade-long venture for the businessman.
He was previously granted planning permission in 2008 but failed to get the project off the ground due to the economic downturn.
Mr Frame said: “This is an exciting new chapter for the site at Tomatin and I remain committed to creating a hotel and retail and food village at this location.
“I first bought the site in 2005 and believe this is now the right time to take forward our plans with the commitment of Transport Scotland to improve accessibility to the Highlands. The dualling of the A9 will include the stretch in close proximity to the site of the proposed development and the Highlands are an increasingly popular tourist destination.”
The plans outline proposals for the creation of a 97 bedroom hotel alongside a farm shop, 200-seater restaurant, drive-through bakery and food outlet as well as four retail units and petrol station at the disused brownfield site, at the Tomatin junction of the A9.
Stewart Nicol, Chief Executive of the Inverness Chamber of Commerce welcomed the plans saying: “I am very impressed with the plans, the scale and the obvious investments. It will have an impact and will be a very welcome addition to Inverness, as it’s only 10 to 15 miles south of the city. Strategically it will bring tourism and attention for the city and for the Inner Moray Firth. They are impressive plans and it’s obviously going to be at the upper end of the market.”
Councillor Ken Gowans for Inverness South welcomed the plans but indicated a few concerns surrounding traffic management. He said: “In principle it’s a very good development for the area. There are a number of safety issues that needs to be taken care of; safety concerns surrounding the A9, with motorists having to cross two lanes of traffic to get to it.
“Traffic management is an issue. If it becomes a popular destination, the must ensure that the safety aspect is fully taken care of and that will stem from discussions with Highland Council and Transport Scotland.”