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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 August 2006, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
Countess in rival plan for Nairn
Cawdor Castle
The trust helps with the upkeep of historic Cawdor Castle
The stepmother of a Highland lord is pushing ahead with a rival plan to regenerate the seaside town of Nairn.

The Earl of Cawdor said more housing and a new golf course will help the former Victorian spa resort reclaim its title as the Brighton of the North.

But the Dowager Countess of Cawdor has issued a statement on separate plans for housing, a hotel, golf course and equestrian centre.

The pair have previously clashed over ownership of Cawdor Castle.

Cawdor Maintenance Trust, of which the countess is one of the trustees, has appointed Edinburgh-based planning consultant Farningham McCreadie.

These plans are very much in line with the public announcement made by my stepson, Lord Cawdor, recently
Dowager Countess of Cawdor

It will work on the proposals for land the trust owns at Carse of Delnies, Nairn.

The trust said the development was in conjunction with Highland Council's Nairn expansion and A96 corridor project.

In a news release issued on the trust's behalf on Tuesday, the countess said: "The trustees have been discussing plans for the Delnies land with the Highland Council for some time.

"These plans are very much in line with the public announcement made by my stepson, Lord Cawdor, recently.

"It should be noted, however, that the land in question belongs to the Cawdor Maintenance Trust."

Planning consultant Alan Farningham said the local community would be involved in meetings about the trust's proposed development.

Mr Farningham said: "We've been appointed by Lady Cawdor and the other maintenance trust trustees to act as lead consultants on the project.

"The trust has a very clear vision for the area and it will be our task to seek to turn that vision into reality."

The trust was set up in 1984 by the late earl to aid in the upkeep of Cawdor Castle, which has links to Macbeth.

The real Macbeth was Thane of Cawdor and became King of Scotland after the death of Duncan in the 11th century.

In the Shakespeare play, written in 1606, the murder of Duncan takes place in Inverness Castle.

Many academics have associated the killing with Cawdor Castle.

However, that theory has been discounted by others because the building was not constructed until the late 14th century.

This point is acknowledged on the castle's website.

Earl of Cawdor
The Earl of Cawdor is promoting A New Future for Nairn

Four years ago, the countess tried to have her stepson Colin Robert Vaughan Campbell - the seventh Earl of Cawdor and 25th Thane of Cawdor - and his family evicted from the castle after they moved in while she was on holiday.

The dispute ended up in Edinburgh's Court of Session.

The judge ruled partially in her favour - the earl could stay in the castle but his children had to go.

On Monday, the earl unveiled a concept called A New Future for Nairn.

It includes a suggestion for housing west of Nairn's Sandown area and a new golf course bordering Nairn Golf Club's existing championship links.

Any development would involve some land that he and Cawdor Estates own, but he also hoped to get other landowners to sign up to his concept.

Meanwhile, neighbouring Moray Estates appointed planning expert Andres Duany in May to aid in the design of a settlement between Inverness and Nairn.

A site within the A96 corridor is earmarked for new schools, shops and 5,000 homes.

Mr Duany has been helping with the rebuilding of communities in Louisiana and Mississippi in the wake of the devastation caused by hurricanes last summer.


SEE ALSO
Earl unveils seaside town plans
07 Aug 06 |  Highlands and Islands
'Macbeth' castle reopens to public
01 Jun 03 |  Scotland

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