03-01-2023 UPDATE – AVCC opposes Dunroamin B&B conversion to 11 holiday flats

Planning permission is being sought to convert Dunroamin B&B to 11 holiday flats.

At the time of writing, 39 public comments have been posted on the Highland Council website – this application has caused a considerable outcry. Please add your voice to these objections – numbers really make a lot of difference. If you wish, you can use some of the text in the AVCC response as part or all of your objection.

The only way you can tell Highland Council what you think is to put a comment on their website. You need a Highland Council login to do this, but it is quick and easy to get here.

You can then make your comment on the Highland Council website here.


Aviemore and Vicinity Community Council strongly opposes this application, and has posted a formal objection on the Highland Council website. The following is the text of AVCC’s objection:

Context – this property (Dunroamin’) is a long-standing family run Bed and breakfast is a quiet residential street. Planning permission was approved for similar changes to an adjoining property – Vermont (22/01256/FUL) in May 2022. NB – it was not made clear by the applicant at this stage that a second application for a neighbouring property would be forthcoming. It is clear from the current application that the applicant intends to run the two properties as a single business.

Grounds for objection
1. Process. As noted above there was no initial indication that the two properties were to be converted and managed as one. This was, to say the least, misleading. A new 21 room apartment block would have been subject to far more public scrutiny at the time. We are also disappointed by the attempt to sneak this application through the planning process over the Christmas period, particularly as the planning offices appear to have been closed over the period.

2. Impact. This application has caused a great deal of stress and concern for local residents. It is grossly inappropriate that this can be allowed to happen, particularly at this time of year when people have other priorities and the normal sources of advice are not available.

3. The proposal. What is being proposed is basically a low budget motel – the rooms are of variable quality (size, layout, headspace, furnishings), there is no on site supervision and the parking is inadequate. This will create a poor quality visitor experience which will reflect badly on the wider village.

4. We do not accept the assertion that there is a demonstrated need for more accommodation of this type. In fact the proposal would create some very cramped, poor quality accommodation in a completely inappropriate setting. This can only have a negative effect on the reputation of Aviemore, and of the Cairngorm National Park.

5. Capacity. The proposal to create 11 serviced apartments in Dunroamin’ is presented as only a minor increase in the number of letting rooms. In fact, Dunroamin’ served as a family home with only 4 letting bedrooms. The number of visitor bedspaces on the combined site therefore increases from 8 to 21 under this proposal. The Vermont development will already deliver a similar increase in capacity. The combined effect would be to introduce a large new business of 21 letting apartments (capacity 42 guests) in replacement for two small B & Bs.

6. Traffic and parking – this represents a significant increase of potential vehicle traffic. The application increases the number of parking spaces to 11 (there are currently 4 guest spaces at Dunroamin’). Combined with Vermont (10 spaces) this would give 21 additional visitor vehicles entering and leaving Craig na Gower Avenue. There is clear potential for additional disruption is guests arrive in separate vehicles, and there is no parking provision for staff or tradespeople coming to service the properties. The proposed new parking to the rear is immediately adjoining neighbouring gardens, adding further potential disturbance. We consider it highly unlikely that guests and those servicing the property will consistently park on the site itself.

7. This is a traditionally built house. The proposal includes a number of external decking areas for use by individual visitors. Visually, this is completely out of character with the surrounding properties. It also greatly reduces privacy for neighbours and increases the likelihood of noise disturbance at all hours of the day.

8. Several of the proposed apartments are directly accessed from the exterior of the building. This introduces several additional entrances and exits, again adding to disturbance and impacting on the appearance of the property.

9. The so called apartments are very small and are shoehorned into the building. The additional facilities provided appear to be minimal. By any normal assessment, these are rooms with a fridge and kettle rather than genuine self-catering accommodation. There is not room for even a table or chair. The visitor experience provided is likely to be low in quality.

10. The site plan shows 6 domestic wheelie bins wedged between some of the proposed decking. This is unlikely to be sufficient for 11 apartments with a 2 weeks collection cycle. We do not see space for any provision of larger bins without encroaching into the already cramped parking provision.

11. Business model – the application is clear that these properties are intended to be unstaffed, with remote electronic check in etc. This of course means that there is no on site presence to resolve guest issues or to intervene in any cases of disruptive or anti-social behaviour. This significantly increases the likelihood of disturbance to neighbours.

12. We have a wider concern is that this proposed development (if approved) could set a dangerous precedent for the village and seriously impact the quality of life for residents as well as damaging existing businesses.

end of text


Dunroamin is situated on Craig-na-Gower Avenue, next to the Vermont B&B that is owned by the same developer, and which has already been approved for conversion to holiday flats.

This is the site plan, which also shows the neighbouring Vermont development.

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This is the location plan, which shows where the developments are situated on Craig-na-Gower Avenue.

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For more details, see the document provided by the developer in support of their planning application here.

The planning application on the Highland Council website can be found here.


  1. Roddy Stevens says:

    Car parking for 11 vehicles, where’s the Spaces for the owners and staff?

    • Margaret brown says:

      No owners on site. This will be unmanaged with code entry. So no one to supervise any parking issues or noise

      • Chris Thompson says:

        Any parking infringement or issues are for the local authority to deal with, not the property owners

  2. Lindsey Alexander says:

    This is a residential area and this kind of development is completely inappropriate.

  3. Aviemore needs living accommodation not more rentals. This seems to be running out of control. It’s time ensure first time buyers can get on the property ladder so convert it to flats for sale or rent.

  4. Trisha Trolland says:

    Objecting to this build due to the parking issue, this is a residential area. Impacts if the homes around with chance of hen or stag parties. Not needed in the area

  5. David Warden says:

    I would like to leave a fervent objection to this very unneeded development in a predominantly quiet residential area. Aviemore clearly does not need another holiday rental business, having lived in this town now for several years i as a concerned resident amongst many others are tired of continuous developments of a holiday nature. This town requires accommodation for people living and working here and for young people trying unsuccessfully to get on the housing ladder. This development together with another application from David Cameron for the construction of further holiday lodges is a step too far now. The noise, the traffic chaos and the lack of accommodation for local people has to be addressed
    I therefore object to this new development and in full and I hope you as planners will begin to listen to local views for once and refuse this developers application.

    • Margaret Brown says:

      Everyone must object to the Highland Council Planning either on their website or by a letter which should be sent by recorded delivery so no excuses for not receiving it. If you do not do this then your objections just will not count and be lost in the system. You must have this in by the 14th January.

  6. Steven Johnstone says:

    This is an absolute disgrace! Aviemore locals are struggling to find places to rent, let alone buy! And your going to put this monstrosity up to fill the pockets if the wealthy! Disgusting, I wonder if the people staying there will enjoy making their own beds, pouring their own drinks and operating the town!

  7. Steve Byrne says:

    I feel sorry for the people who live close to this proposed development, and am strongly opposed to it. I feel angry and frustrated on their behalf, and have the depressing sense that there is little that they can do to stop this, and that there is nobody for them to turn to for help.

    B&Bs are a way of providing small-scale accommodation for holiday-makers, but developments like this are on a much bigger scale, and should not be allowed in residential areas.

    In my opinion, the planning authority should protect people from developments of this kind, but they have already approved the conversion of the former Vermont B&B which is next to Dunroamin. The planning process effectively allows developers to do pretty much as they like, and local people have no real way of objecting.

    Unless something is done to stop this and other tourism-related developments, local people who already find it near-impossible to find a home will be crowded out entirely, and everyone who lives in Aviemore is at risk of similar developments coming to their neighbourhood sometime soon.

    I hope that Aviemore Community Council can find a way to oppose these developments, though they too have to work within the planning rules.

    • Margaret brown says:

      My husband and I live right next door to proposed development. If this goes ahead we will face a total of 8 cars going past our bedroom windows and back garden on gravel. This will be so noisy with all the coming and going with guests at all hours. Being unmanned is left wide open for stag and hen parties to book . Not good after living in this quiet residential street for 36 years and both nearing eighty due not need this stress in our latter years

      • Stephen Byrne says:

        Just a thought – try contacting our Councillor, Bill Lobban. I think that he is meant to act like a sort of local MP, and part of his remit might be to take up issues on behalf of his constituents. I may be wrong in this, but it’s worth a try.

    • Margaret Brown says:

      Again I reiterate you must object to the Highland Council Planning. Comments on the Community Council website although great that so many people have taken the time to submit their comments with their concerns about what is happening in our village are totally wasted as ONLY the objections to the Highland Council count so get in there and try to stop these planning applications. It,s the ONLY way . MUST BE IN BY 12 January

  8. Scott Burns-Smith says:

    The last application for 11 serviced apartments is a farce..it’s actually forming part of another property and will in fact be letting rooms (not apartments..) and will take it to a 22 bedroom hotel- official term an ApartHotel which also means they do not need to operate with the new license structure – loop hole after loophole – This will remove a minimum 6000 bed nights per year from other local, family run accommodation businesses and anyone with a small AirBnB operation needs to be aware too – it’s just diluting the market- those who have short term interests..fine..the rest of us need to think about the long term impact on our area and fragile tourist industry. As for development in a residential street on this scale..? Absolutely nuts!

  9. Anne Howe says:

    This is a truly awful intrusion in the lives of all the residents in Craig na Gower Ave. When all the folk who live here in Aviemore have been forced out how will the “ tourist destination” operate?
    Right now, priority needs to be given to the needs of the local resident population if we are to remain a thriving, living community. Otherwise Aviemore becomes little more than a block of serviced accommodation ( and serviced by whom?). Many villages and towns have lived to regret this type of development and are now trying hard to lose the label of “. Fun filled, stags and hens, weekend breaks”. Unsociable and bring money only to a few.

    Is there someone who knows about planning out there? What are the VALID grounds for us to put in objections to this? I know that just not liking it is not going to have any influence so what will? Parking? Noise? ??

    • Stephen Byrne says:

      As you might expect, the planning rules are complex, and objecting to an application is also a complex process.

      I have started to look into this a bit, and it seems that the first thing to do is check the Local Development Plan to see whether the proposed development conforms with the aims of the planning authority. This seems absurd to me – you would think that the authority would check that developments conform to their own plan, and turn them down if they don’t!

      In this particular case, I don’t know which plan applies – the Highland-wide LDP or the Cairngorm National Park LDP, or both? These plans are long and detailed, and have related documents which also form part of the plan.

      Once you have done that, you then have to look for material considerations that could be grounds for objection. The definition of this is not exact, but can include things such as:

      – Height, scale, massing, design, density and layout of development, particularly in comparison with other buildings in the locality
      – Landscaping proposals
      – Privacy, over-shadowing, over-development (overcrowding), and lack of natural light
      – Nuisances caused by the development such as noise, smell, fumes, glare from floodlights or headlights of vehicles
      – Compatibility with existing uses, e.g. the mix of uses found in town centres, such as shops, offices and cafes, can be mutually beneficial
      – The needs of an area (employment, commercial, social or leisure facilities, affordable housing)
      – Provision of suitable access and transportation (including road safety, parking issues, effect on pedestrians and cyclists, and amount of traffic generated)
      – Creation of an undesirable “precedent”, making it difficult to resist similar proposals elsewhere (but this should not be over-emphasised)
      – and lots of other things

      If you think you have a valid objection either in terms of the LDP or through a material consideration, you then have to object by placing a comment on the planning application on the Highland Council website, for which you need an HC login. This can be obtained on their website, but is yet another barrier to people having an influence on the process.

      All in all, the process is heavily weighted in favour of developers, and makes any kind of democratic participation very difficult. Part of the problem is that individuals do not have access to expert opinion that can evaluate these applications in ways that are not obvious to people without the relevant knowledge and background. Another issue is lack of visibility – these applications are listed on the Highland Council website, but in practice most people don’t hear about them until it is too late. I think that they are also listed in the local paper, but unless you make a point of looking, you could easily overlook them.

      To answer your question as to whether anybody knows anything about planning, I don’t know of any local resource that can offer much help with these issues. It would need some group to make a real study of the LDPs and planning rules to find out how it all works, and then publish guidance on how individual development applications might be opposed on a case by case basis. A lot of work! And then it would be up to all concerned people to object on the Council website.

      If a way can’t be found to take this on, we are at the mercy of the developers because the planning process seems designed to thwart opposition from the communities directly affected.

      Finally, my explanation of the planning rules etc is just my understanding, so please check for yourself if you would like to be sure that what I say is accurate.

  10. A Mclearn says:

    The location for this type of development is too close to a residential area. I live and work in the area and have the misfortune of living next door to a holiday rental that is rented out 24/7 we have had stag and hen parties, people round out back door looking for key safes, people’s dogs in our garden and a whole load of service vehicles coming and going as well as the guest vehicles I have no idea who is renting next door which makes me feel a bit unsafe . It is becoming a horrible living situation

    • Stephen Byrne says:

      Sadly, anybody who lives in Aviemore faces this threat. It is an injustice that this kind of thing is allowed to happen, but it does because the rights of people who live in Aviemore are not protected.

      And who is supposed to provide this protection – the planning authority maybe?

      Experience suggests the contrary, that the planners operate a process that makes it all too easy for people who want to make money out of Aviemore, a sort of profiteers’ charter.

  11. Pat Finlayson says:

    This is a residential area in a street that I used to live in.
    1. There will be increased and unwanted noise due to the plan to have no staff on-site.
    2. There will be increased traffic in an already busy street.
    3. This will be adding more letting rooms to an already saturated area.
    4. There are currently not enough restaurants to service the current amount of tourists. This is due to the fact that they cannot get staff as there is no accommodation for local people. This will just make the problem worse.
    5. They will be unable to get staff to service the apartments for the same reason as point 4.
    6. Environmentally it will be destroying a mature garden to make parking spaces and gravel.
    7. The planning documents show the existing living room of the property as a bedroom. This is not the case.

  12. Alan Finlayson says:

    I would like to object to this development. Craig Na Gower Avenue is a residential street, not a commercial zone. It is a cul de sac with only one entrance which will become a bottleneck with the additional traffic. This development will devalue the neighbouring properties and the village with it’s neon tacky signs. It is over development of a small site for maximum profit without taking into account the neighbouring properties. There will be additional noise from both the extra traffic as well as from guests, who will be completely unsupervised, coming and going at all hours, with no-one on site to tell them when noise levels are inappropriate. Aviemore is saturated with tourist accommodation and has no accommodation for locals or incoming workers. The current licensing scheme for tourist accommodation and short term lets leaves apart hotels exempt. By allowing this type of development, further saturates the market due to a loophole where apart hotels don’t need a licence. This, if allowed, will set a president for apart hotels to set up all over Aviemore, where there is already insufficient restaurants and hospitality staff to cope now. Local accommodation for workers is what is needed, not more tourist accommodation.

  13. Mark Beaumont says:

    Totally inappropriate for this small residential street. Not enough car parking to support this number of apartments. Hard enough to get out of Craig Na Gower during busy time as is, this will add to the congestion.

  14. Caroline Gordon Gordon says:

    No one would complain to it being kept as a guest houses as that’s what they have been for years but they have been supervised that’s the difference.Parking will be a big problem and trying to get out of Craig na Gower Ave in the summer is bad enough but with more traffic parking on the street and coming onto the street is going to be a lot worse.We need housing for local children and for staff.

  15. Chris Thompson says:

    As a regular visitor to Aviemore I would argue that the town needs this type of accommodation. Remember, I will be there to spend money in your shops, your pubs and help keep your economy afloat. Don’t drive people like me away to other areas

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