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Scottish government criticised for approving Aviemore plans

28 January 2008 by

The Scottish Government has come under fire over its role in granting planning approval for Macdonald Hotels' £80m Aviemore project last year.

The Scottish Labour party is questioning the conduct of Scottish National Party ministers after they contacted environment bosses and the scheme's chief planner following Macdonald's threat to scrap the redevelopment due to a delay.

In the end planning permission for the next phase of the Highland scheme was granted in December with additional leisure and retail units for the site green-lighted.

Labour has said the government overstepped the mark by intervening on an individual issue, while ministers insist their actions have saved hundreds of vital jobs.

Around 500 jobs have been created since Macdonald started redeveloping the former ski resort in 2002 and in April of last year it opened a training academy there also.

Macdonald Hotels Aviemore redevelopment on track >>

Independent ditches Macdonald Hotels to go it alone >>

Donald Macdonald on returning to private ownership >>

By Chris Druce

E-mail your comments to Chris Druce here.

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