Cairngorms artificial ski slope refused against officer advice

Plans for an artificial ski slope in Scotland's Cairngorms National Park have been refused, against a recommendation from planners who concluded that adverse visual impacts arising from the scheme could be mitigated.

Cairngorms: artificial ski slope plans refused
Cairngorms: artificial ski slope plans refused

Applicant Cairngorm Mountain Ltd had applied to the national park authority for full planning consent for an artificial ski slope at Cairngorm Mountain.

According to the planning committee report, the site would cover around two hectares of moorland adjacent to an existing ski centre. Just under one hectare would be covered by the development.

The report said the area lies within the Cairngorms National Scenic Area and is close to environmentally sensitive areas.

On landscape impacts, planners said that, "whilst it will inevitably be visible from the immediate surrounding area and further afield these impacts will be largely localised and will … be viewed within the context of an operational ski centre".

According to the report, officers considered that "these impacts can be satisfactorily mitigated over time by the proposed extensive [planting] in and around the site which will help to conserve and enhance the landscape".

Planners also said that "adequate compensation for loss of habitat" had been offered by the applicant "which will help secure biodiversity benefits as well as mitigation for landscape impacts".

However, the authority’s planning committee went on to refuse the application. A spokeswoman for the authority said: "The dry ski slope at Cairngorm Mountain was refused on the grounds that the siting and design were inappropriate, leading to significant adverse landscape impacts in the short to medium term that are not outweighed by the economic benefits of the proposal, meaning the proposal does not comply with policy 5 landscape of the Cairngorms National Park Local Development Plan 2015."

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