A public exhibition of proposals for the regeneration of the historic Taymouth Estate is to be held at the Reading Rooms in Kenmore on Tuesday and Wednesday 8-9 February.
Meteor Property Fund’s design team’s plans include
  • progressing the restoration of the Castle
  • bringing it back into use as a hotel,
  • building lodges and
  • extending/refurbishing the James Braid-designed golf course.
It is planned to implement much of the existing planning consent. However, the developer’s research has shown that the previously approved scheme is not commercially viable in the post credit-crunch economic environment.
The details of Meteor’s proposed changes to this will be on display at the exhibition and will be the subject of a planning application in due course.
Meteor Asset Management’s Development Manager, Martin Mortimer, said: “We welcome the opportunity to explain our proposals and to hear what local people think.
“The 12-week period from the Proposal of Application Notice is only the minimum amount of time that has to be allowed for consultation and we will certainly not submit an application until we have completed all the consultation as agreed.”

Investment Planned
The Development Manager commented: “Meteor is hoping to make a major investment in Taymouth, but needs to develop a strategy that is both appropriate for the Estate and financially viable, and this is what we have been working towards.
“Meteor has a fiduciary duty to its investors to ensure that the proposals are viable before it can commence development.”
He continued: “Meteor has already spent a significant amount of money developing the financial and architectural aspects of the scheme at its own risk, because we want to be sure that the scheme we bring forward for consultation with the local community, official agencies and Perth & Kinross Council is carefully considered, beneficial to the whole area and – most importantly – deliverable from a technical, aesthetic and financial point of view.
“We think everyone wants to see a permanent and viable long-term solution to this exciting but complex project.”
Preliminary discussions with official agencies and local organisations including P&K Council, Scottish Natural Heritage, Historic Scotland, Kenmore & District Community Council and the Breadalbane Development Association.
It is understood that comments and suggestions from these meetings are being considered and, where possible, incorporated into the plans.

Public Access
Martin Mortimer went on: “In response to feedback we have already received, we have commissioned a structural survey on the Chinese Bridge and found that extensive repairs are needed to bring it back into use and fulfil Health & Safety requirements. We have every intention of carrying out this work, should our application prove successful, and would undertake the repairs as soon as possible.
“We also fully intend to work closely with the local community regarding access to the Estate and certainly intend to go beyond any statutory requirements in this regard. For example, we will be incorporating various bridleways within the estate - following the reinstatement of numerous original tracks and bridges - that will be open to the local community.

2016 Target
Meteor maintains that it is doing everything it can to ensure that the application is able to progress through planning as quickly as possible. It hope to achieve a high level of local support and avoid any delay in the approvals process.
If consent is granted, it intends to start work immediately on the hotel, lodges, golf course and leisure facilities as it claims that it is vital to the success of the scheme to take advantage of the Scotland’s hosting of the 2016 Ryder Cup.
Key elements of the proposals will certainly need to be in place by 2013 if this is to be achieved.
Martin Mortimer added: “Our team of experts includes award-winning local architects McKenzie Strickland as well as other consultants with a track record of successfully and sympathetically restoring historic properties.

Good Faith Activity
“The restoration of the Castle and finding a solution that will bring it back into use are very much part of our plans, as is significant new investment in the golf course. As a gesture of good faith, we are
Meteor is already carrying out essential repair and restoration works inside the castle as well as maintenance of estate roads and tracks. It describes this work as a ‘gesture of good faith’ and reports that it plans to conduct ‘some much-needed drainage repairs on the golf course... in keeping with the existing consent or (as) simply good estate management.’
Martin Mortimer concluded: “No firm commitment can be made to proceed with the more substantial works on the estate and the conversion of the castle into a high quality hotel at this stage, until planning consent is granted for the changes to the existing consent that are needed to create a viable scheme.”

The Taymouth exhibition will be held in the Reading Room in Kenmore. It will be open to the public on:
8 February 2013: 12noon – 9pm
9 February 2013: 7.30am – 9pm
All are welcome to view plans, meet key members of the project team and provide comments and feedback.

 

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