Building firm chosen for Cairngorms park project
The consortium behind plans for a new community in the Cairngorms National Park has selected a building firm for the project.
Elgin-based Springfield Properties will develop a masterplan for the first phase of An Camas Mor near Aviemore.
The consortium, led by Rothiemurchus Estate, is planning 1,500 homes and other community facilities at the site.
The move comes as environmentalists continue a legal challenge to that and two other planned park developments.
Springfield Properties will have responsibility for delivering the initial phase of the proposed new community, comprising 80 affordable homes, 95 homes for private sale, 25 self-build plots and community services.
Springfield will finalise the masterplan for homes, business, community facilities and associated infrastructure and build the first homes.
An Camas Mor is one of 11 projects included in the Scottish government's sustainable communities initiative.
Planning permission for the project was granted in principle by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) in June last year.
The consortium hopes work can start on site in spring 2012, pending a legal challenge by environmentalists.
The action concerns the CNPA's local plan, a document which guides development in the park.
An appeal at the Court of Session has been jointly lodged by the Cairngorms Campaign, which is based in Aberdeenshire, along with the Scottish Campaign for National Parks and Badenoch and Strathspey Conservation Group.
The group opposes plans for An Camas Mor as well as schemes proposed for Grantown-on-Spey and Kingussie. Earlier this year, they claimed the authority would "trash the park" if it pressed ahead with its plans.
The CNPA said it hoped court dates would be set towards the end of this year.
A spokeswoman said: "We hope that things will start moving along soon. At the moment there are still various issues to be resolved."
Johnnie Grant, of Rothiemurchus Estate, said: "The vision for An Camas Mor was first expressed by Aviemore and Vicinity Community Council in 1989 and with Aviemore now reaching its natural limits and the CNPA decision in principle, it's time to start.
"We will continue to work with the community council to ensure An Camas Mor reaches the standards befitting Rothiemurchus, the Cairngorms National Park and this special place in which I was born, brought up and have worked for most of my life."