Invercauld Estate, Braemar
Drop-in Consultation Event
Wednesday 30 March 2016
2.30-4.30pm and 5.30-7.30pm

Castleton Hall, Glenshee Road, Braemar


In 2013, a Community Action Plan was prepared for and by the people of Braemar. Since then, a number of groups and businesses have made progress with new projects for the village. Some have already started.

As a local landowner, Invercauld Estate is aware that it also has a role to play. The Estate wants to work closely with the community to ensure that Braemar has a bright future as a place to live, work and visit. We’d like to hear your views. Please come along to our drop-in event and tell us what YOU think.

 

Braemar - A Sustainable Future

Newsletter 2 - May 2016

The first phase of the process since Newsletter 1 in December 2015 has been one of information gathering. The Braemar – A Sustainable Future (‘ASF’) team felt that it was fundamental from the start that they had a clear understanding of what particular groups within the village are trying to achieve and where the wider population of Braemar see the future for the village.

This phase of the ASF process commenced in late 2015 therefore and has included meetings between the masterplanning team and a significant number of community groups and organisations including Braemar Community Ltd, the Community Council, Braemar Tourism Group, St Margaret’s Church Group, Braemar Golf Club and Glenshee Ski Centre.

Most recently, on 30 March 2016, a ‘drop in’ public event was held at the Castleton Hall in Braemar. This was extremely well attended and the team was very encouraged by the depth and quality of the engagement from those who attended. The team sought to build on the four key themes of the Community Action Plan that has already been prepared. The following key themes have emerged from the consultation.

Attractions and Services

People recognise the importance of visitors to Braemar and want to ensure that their needs are met more effectively. There is an appetite for the development of Braemar as a destination including more visitor accommodation but a keen desire not to spoil the village. There is support for visitor attraction enhancement and development whilst there is also a feeling Braemar could be marketed more effectively to potential visitors.

Community Services and Transport

Improved public transport to the east and particularly the south is seen as very important by many. An opportunity to provide a ski shuttle to Glenshee was mentioned by some people - and someone suggested a 'gondola' from Braemar to Glenshee! There is good support for the pub proposed for the former Strachans shop as an important service for local people and visitors alike. Many support completion of the Deeside Way and opportunities for more engagement with the natural environment surrounding the village.

Youth

There is a strong feeling that it is important to better services, facilities and events for younger people, although making better use of existing infrastructure is seen as a good way forward. Access to local employment and housing opportunities is seen as equally important in helping to enable young people to remain in the village.

Housing, Employment and the Economy

A need for local employment opportunities was raised by many. Affordable housing and starter homes for younger people, for sale or rent, was seen as a key issue, supporting the findings of the housing report. As with tourism, growth should be managed appropriately to ensure the character of the village is maintained and improved.

These findings are broadly consistent with the Community Action Plan. The ASF team since met to analyse the information gathered from the meetings with the various community groups, the public open day and other research that has been undertaken to date. In May 2016 they started the second phase of the planning process whereby all this information is converted into a framework for a way forward. This process is now fully underway and it is proposed to consult again with the community in the summer or early autumn.

In the meantime, comments are always welcome using the query/comment form below or by contacting any member of the ASF team.

Invercauld Estate

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Newsletter 1 - December 2015

Invercauld Estate led the development of Castleton, the eastern side of Braemar, over recent centuries and is proud of the unique and special village it has helped to create. As part of its commitment to the economy, environment and community of the local area, the Estate has just begun work on a study which will consider Braemar’s long term future needs and opportunities.

The Estate believes there could be a bright future for the village with its rich cultural heritage and unrivalled mountain setting to provide significant inward investment to the area and more opportunities for its people.

The potential for a positive future for Braemar has been widely recognised locally with a number of proposals including the development of new visitor centres at both the Games Park and Braemar Castle, the conversion of St Margarets Church into an arts venue, the redevelopment of the Fife Arms and others. In addition, a Community Action Plan and Visitor Management Plan have been prepared whilst the Braemar Tourism Group is currently taking forward a ‘Destination Braemar’ initiative.

There are however also threats to Braemar’s future sustainability. The Highland Small Communities Housing Trust produced a report early in 2015 identifying a critical lack of housing that is affordable to local people in and around Braemar. There is also a need for business space.

Invercauld Estate wishes to help facilitate the residential, business and community needs and opportunities of Braemar to provide a sustainable future for the village.

The Estate has therefore appointed a masterplanning team led by award winning planning consultant Richard Heggie of Urban Animation. The team also includes commercial property advisers CKDGalbraith and Jura Consultants to advise on tourism.

In any development of the village, the Estate wishes to ensure that the uniqueness of Braemar is retained, any new development is sympathetic to the vernacular architecture, interacts with the unique mountain setting of Braemar and is fully reflective of Braemar’s special position in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park and Royal Deeside.

The study will produce a Master Plan showing how land and buildings owned by the Estate could be used to help meet requirements for housing, business, tourism and community uses over the next 30 years.

A Tourism Strategy will also be prepared, showing how the Estate can help Braemar and the surrounding area increase tourism and meet, and exceed, visitor expectations.

Work on these studies has been timed to coincide with the beginning of the Cairngorms National Park Authority’s Local Development Plan (LDP) review. The LDP allocates sites for development over a five to ten year period and manages change in the National Park towns, villages and rural areas.

Invercauld Estate will work closely with the community, local businesses and groups, the Cairngorms National Park Authority, Aberdeenshire Council and other landowners to ensure the Master Plan and Tourism Strategy are widely supported. The Estate will be arranging a series of consultation events for local people, starting in early 2016.

The Estate welcomes any comments and feedback at any time through the process as part of the collaborative approach it has decided to take in preparing the Master Plan. Please feel free to fill in the query/comment form below.

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