The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) planning committee has approved the proposals for the Ptarmigan Restaurant's building, which also houses the funicular railway terminus, exhibition and shop. The building will be altered, including extending it with new stilt-mounted viewing platforms wrapping around the outside.
CNPA planning officer Katherine Donnachie said: “Much of the work involved is internal and will make a positive difference to how people move about and it will make things like snow clearance and access much easier. Externally, while they are seeking to extend the building, the visual impacts will be minimal. The layout and design of the new development are wholly satisfactory and I think that it offers an attractive design solution for a mountain environment.”
Planning committee members agreed to approve the application, despite concerns from members about the long-term viability and management of the ski resort as well as questions raised about the lack of masterplan for Cairngorm Mountain. There have also been problems with the funicular railway (link opens in new tab).
Eleanor Mackintosh, convener of the planning committee, said: “Cairngorm Mountain is a key visitor attraction in the Cairngorms National Park and particularly important to the economy of Badenoch and Strathspey and sadly it has made headlines over these last six months for all the wrong reasons – but none of this is relevant in planning terms. Our decision as a committee has to be based on policy grounds and there is sufficient support for this application with our policy on supporting economic growth as well as developments that support sports and recreation facilities. Despite the continued issues with the funicular railway, there are solid planning reasons to support the application.”
Cairngorm Mountain is one of three ski resorts in the Cairngorms National Park in addition to the Lecht and Glenshee.