Farm is really going places – across the A9
Compulsory order means family must move lock, stock and barrel to allow for trunk road dualling
A FARMING family has revealed plans to move the business from one side of the main road through the Highlands to the other to make way for a road dualling project.
Balavil Estate, near Kingussie, has a large swathe of land under a compulsory purchase order on both sides of the current A9, to make way for the Crubenmore-Kincraig phase of the road widening.
The farm, home to a pedigree Aberdeen Angus herd and 1,400 sheep, couldn’t function in its current position as the new road would block the existing underpass which gives livestock access to the northern side.
The new site has been identified and cleared, with designs under way to create “the perfect farm for the site”, general manager Gary Culpan said.
And yesterday, they were granted planning permission in principle for the big move by the Cairngorm National Park Authority.
Planning committee convener Eleanor Mackintosh said: “It certainly is an unusual application, moving an entire farm, but I am happy to support it.”
A north farm is set to move across the road to accommodate the dualling of the A9.
Balavil Home Farm must comply with a compulsory purchase order and move half a mile north within two years before the dualling of the Crubenmore-Kincraig stretch of the A9 can begin.
The farm’s general manager, Gary Culpan, said: “There will be advantages in animal welfare on the north side of the farm, as it will involve less movement of livestock than there is at present.”
The farm has 92 worldclass pedigree Aberdeen Angus cattle and 1,400 sheep.
The new site has been identified and cleared with designs under way to create “the perfect farm for the site”, Mr Culpan said.
The farm has been granted planning permission in principle for the move by the Cairngorm Park National Authority, and must now move rapidly towards full planning permission.
The current farm has five buildings, some of which are agricultural sheds and demountable.
The development will include a range of farm buildings totalling 2,792 square metres, a new access track to the side from an existing estate track and associated drainage.
Mr Culpan said: “I’ve no reservations about the logistical side. We’ve already identified a local contractor to do the work.”
CPNA planning convener Eleanor Mackintosh said: “It certainly is an unusual application, moving an entire farm, but I am happy to support the recommendation based on the context of the application. I am keen to see the detail of the project when it comes forward.”
Gavin Miles, CPNA’s head of planning and communities, said: “We are recommending approval of the application as it meets with all the relevant policies in the Cairngorms National Park local development plan, despite an objection from Transport Scotland.
“As this is a permission in principle – with the detail of the scheme yet to be decided – and the fact that the route of this new section of dual carriageway has yet to be fixed, we have to base our recommendation on the situation as we have it...”
“It is an unusual application, moving an entire farm”
FACING CHANGE: Gary Culpan of Balavil Home Farm, which is set to move to accommodate A9 dualling. Photograph by Sandy McCook