Letter from DLC to John Swinney and Pete Wishart
14th August 2023
Dear Messrs Swinney and Wishart,
My name is David O’Donoghue and I have been appointed General Manager of Taymouth Castle based here in Kenmore. As I will be responsible for leading on community engagement going forward, I am writing to you to introduce myself and want to thank you so much for your letter of 31 July and for sharing the concerns of local residents.
We understand why families who have called this beautiful region home for generations would have questions regarding an investment, restoration and construction project of this magnitude taking place in their backyard. And they deserve clear answers.
Please know that we will attempt to begin to address the questions you raised in this document, but we intend to follow up as soon as we are able with greater clarity and specificity than we do here - or have in the past.
The natural beauty, wildlife, culture and people in this area inspired us to choose Taymouth for a residential development. And we are 100 percent committed to not just working in harmony with the environment, infrastructure, businesses and way of life but, wherever possible, to enhance them -- and do so in a way that respects the land, people and traditions.
First, Discovery Land Company will fully comply with all legislative requirements, particularly with regard to public access. Due to construction and safety concerns, access to some parts of the area has been restricted and some of the areas that have been open to public access in the past are likely to change. But our intent is to follow the spirit of the law. In short, Taymouth Estate will not be a gated community and the public will continue to have access to the beach and car park.
We intend to reopen the village shop in Kenmore when renovations are complete, likely in 2024, and reopen the Kenmore Hotel in 2025. We ultimately hope to open Taymouth Trading and the Paper Boat for the local community, but our plans for these are still in their infancy. When our plans are farther along, we will communicate additional information.
Any and all of these dates may change due to construction delays, weather, supply chain issues and other factors outside of our control. Should this occur, we will keep the Planning Councils and community informed.
As we have previously shared, people may continue to fish for trout with daily permits on the River Tay. However, people who seek to fish for salmon will have to do so outside of the estate. We apologize if this creates an inconvenience.
We intend to make significant investments in affordable housing in the areas above and beyond what we have done so far. Again, these plans are still in development and we will provide addiJonal details when we have them. We respect the importance of this issue.
Local residents can review the strategic framework for the project, which is filed with the Planning Council and updated routinely. In the near future, we also intend to release an easier- to-follow overview of the plan for the project. We will share this with you when it is complete.
In closing, we apologise to yourselves and the local community for any lack of information about the Taymouth Estate and related projects and the concern and frustration this may have caused.
We will be expanding the Welcome to Taymouth website to provide more useful and timely information and we will be bringing on new team members and developing better ways to share information going forward. These measures are not fully in place, but they are a priority.
We share your love of the natural splendour of this region and appreciate your concern given the scale of the investment and change occurring. However, over time we hope you will agree that the quality of life will be better here than before and hope we will earn the privilege to be considered by you as good neighbours.
I look forward to meeting you both in person over the coming months and will be contact again with ongoing updates. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to get in touch at any time, with any queries.
David O’Donoghue General Manager Taymouth Castle