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Atholl Estates Seeks Local Support in Cally Loch Cabin Plans

LISTEN: Atholl Estates explain their proposal

After a busy tourist season, Highland Perthshire has felt the pressure – born from the attractiveness of the area – of tourists wanting to make their holidays in the area during the pandemic.

Now, Atholl Estates is looking at how it can meet that demand by considering the potential it’s woodland north of Dunkeld could offer. They’re considering how eight new cabins by the Cally Loch could meet this demand.

This month they met with the Dunkeld Community Council to hear what impact locals think the proposal would make.

During his presentation, planner, Mark Richardson explained: “We’ve been interested for a while and we’re looking at actually whether or not some small bespoke cabins would help broaden our offering to people looking to and visit either locally, or looking at holidays, or people coming to visit at Perthshire.

“So, we’ve therefore been looking at whether or not there’s the opportunity with some of our commercial woodland, not any of the ancient woodland but the commercial woodland, in some of the clearings to look at some bespoke cabins.

“I should absolutely stress that none of this is for sale. It’d be managed by Atholl Estates. We’re not looking to build and sell second homes.

“There’s no ancillary infrastructure, we’re not looking at putting in shops and cafes, and such like, which in any way compete with, with the existing and amazing offering we have in Dunkeld and the wider field.”

The Dunkeld Community Council is looking at ways it could help encourage affordable housing in the area.

Community councillor, Chris Claydon put to the estate team that this development could have opportunities to provide that affordable housing.

Chris Claydon asked: “So if the land is possibly available, could it not be looked at being available for the community?

“And Mark, I hear what you’re saying about it being for three children, but actually I’d be happy to live in one of those little houses. Is that something that could be looked at instead of maybe building some holiday properties, looking at building some other type of housing for the community?”

The Atholl Estates team made it clear that they are not planning to offer this area for any plans aside from holiday lets because of the geography of the Cally Loch site, however, there would be an opportunity to consider an option like this in their upcoming plans for Haughend.

Andrew Richardson answered: “We would never secure planning permission for housing up there.

“What’s quite interesting though, when we were designing these little cabins, is whether or not – actually because my mother would love to live in one – they could form part of some of the offering at Haughend. With what we were thinking of that type of small timber bespoke cabin around the woodland, there is an opportunity to do something like that.”

Atholl Estates have submitted plans to the council with renders of what the cabins could look like, and right now they are meeting with the community to gauge how they could best serve the estate and the community in tandem.

Andrew Bruce BruceWootton added: “As a significant stakeholder in and around, Dunkeld we very much look to partner social and economic development, realizing the mutual significance that we have with each other, really, we’re only strong if we’re both strong, and these two projects, hopefully in different ways can help to further the strength of the community and the local economy.”

More information on the plans is available on: https://planningapps.pkc.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=R58I8NMK09Z00

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