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Last Updated: Friday, 14 December 2007, 18:01 GMT
Park resort master plan approved
Macdonald resort, Aviemore. Picture by Macdonald Hotels
The master plan is centred around the existing resort
An 80m development centred around a holiday resort has been approved by Cairngorms National Park Authority.

The proposals by Macdonald Hotels include two supermarkets and about 160 houses in Aviemore's Highland Resort.

The company had threatened to pull out after planners called for more time.

The planning authority said most of the outstanding issues had now been resolved. But approval is subject to improvements to community facilities.

Up to half of the accommodation on the proposed development will be classed as "affordable" and it has been predicted that 300 jobs would be created.

Continuing controversy

Donald Macdonald, executive chairman of Macdonald Hotels and Resorts Limited, said there had been repeated efforts to develop a year-round business economy in the town.

He said: "Many hundreds of jobs depend on the success of the plans and the future opportunities that would result from this stretch throughout the Highlands, all helping to consolidate the region as a major tourist destination."

As well as local residents, various bodies were consulted on the master plan.

The plan has its critics - Architecture and Design Scotland said it could not back it in its present form.

Scottish Natural Heritage said it has no objection, but has concerns about the impacts on the Craigellachie National Nature Reserve.

Architecture and Design Scotland, a new body set up with the aim of achieving excellence in the built environment, said the design failed to make a positive contribution to the landscape character.

The continuing controversy over an access road to the centre will be debated by Highland councillors on Monday.

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The scene of the development in Aviemore



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