Taymouth Castle - Your questions answered
We collected questions from our community and put these to DLC. This is its comprehensive response.
ENVIRONMENT AND WILDLIFE
Q. There has been claims that chemical runoff from the golf course will damage the river. What measures are you taking to avoid this?
We will fully comply with all chemical usage regulations and only use chemicals approved for specific areas of the golf course. All products will have labels indicating where they can and cannot be used, including buffer zones from water courses. We have also selected new grass species with strong disease resistance, which will reduce the need for chemical control. Only fully trained and certified operators will be responsible for applying chemicals on the property, and we will keep records of any application made to the turf (chemical or otherwise). Furthermore, our sprayers will have GPS installed to ensure precise application.
Q. What statutory and other bodies are you working with to ensure that the development follows relevant rules and regulations, particularly on environmental matters?
We are committed to adhering to all relevant regulations and guidelines and maintain strong working relationships with various organisations, including:
- Perth and Kinross Council (various departments)
- Scottish Environmental Protection Agency
- Nature Scot
- Historic Environment Scotland
- Scottish Water
- Scottish Forests
We are also collaborating with experts in various fields such as:
- Landscape design
- Hydro Geologist
Q. What is the Estate’s tree conservation plan?
As we began surveying the property over the past year, it became clear that significant forest and grounds management would be required. There has been very little forest management or other maintenance completed in the past 70 years. Our team is working closely with an expert arboricultural engineer to remove dead, dying, and potentially hazardous trees across the estate. The first phase of survey work is almost complete, and the active phase has commenced. We expect this to take several years to complete, given the scale and scope of the projects required.
We have been working closely with Perth and Kinross Council Tree and Woodland officers, from the outset. Additionally, we have been working with the council’s planning department to ensure that all replanting is carefully respected, considering the Historic Gardens and Designed Landscape designation set by Historic Environment Scotland. To read more about our efforts, please see a recent update here.
Q. How is wildlife being considered throughout the development?
The Taymouth Castle team is committed to responsible development practises and working with experts to ensure our work is in harmony with both the local environment and wildlife. We recently engaged Dr. Peter Green, a respected veterinary surgeon consultant specialising in deer health to investigate deer management on the estate and implement both short and long-term plans. Further details of his visit can be viewed on our news page.
Q. You have said that you intend to improve your communications. How will you do this?
We understand that residents in the surrounding areas may have questions about the project, and we are committed to providing timely and detailed information. As such, we are expanding our website to offer more comprehensive information about the project. The first phase of website improvements will be available in the first week of September. We are also bringing in new team members to help improve our communications with our neighbours.
Q. How are you taking into account the views of the other Community Councils in the area?
We value the opinions of our neighbouring community councils and are committed to ensuring transparency as the project progresses. We will create a comprehensive plan to facilitate regular meetings and information sharing among all Community Councils.
Q. What is included in extant planning approvals?
The restoration of the A Listed Taymouth Castle
The creation of a new North Wing
The building of 167 new residential properties
The restoration and landscaping of park and woodlands
The restoration of the James Braid designed Golf Course
The building of a new golf club house
The creation of a new equestrian centre
The building of a new restaurant
The development of two spas
What new approvals have been obtained by DLC/Taymouth Castle?
We have secured Planning and Listed building consent to refurbish Deerpark Bridge (a listed structure) with a view to bringing it back into full use. This includes the restoration and repair of the cast iron railings, repairs to stone walls and repointing. We also have consent to carry out extensive structural repairs as the arch is failing and can only accept limited vehicle weights.
We have secured Planning and Listed building consent for the refurbishment and redevelopment of the East Wing. This superseded the previous consents (2011 and 2018). A reduction in the number of units to 13 in lieu of the previously consented 52 Hotel rooms.
We have secured planning consent for a variation to the house designs and locations in housing Zone 1 to improve the designs, reduce the number of units and move previously consented houses out of the flood risk zone.
Planning and listed building consents have been secured for alterations to the rear of the castle to provide bin stores, plant rooms, IT facilities and landscape features. This ensures that all of the previously consented sprinkler tanks, boilers, water tanks and the electrical substation is now contained in a bespoke facility rather than scattered over the gardens to the north of the castle. All of the debris and rubbish scattered over the ‘D’ to the North of the castle has been removed and the initial phase of the restoration and enhancement of the gardens will be carried out in late 2023/early 2024.
East gate. We have secured detailed planning and listed building approval for the refurbishment of the East Gate including all stone cleaning, repointing and replacement of the historical cast iron gates which were replaced with mild steel of a poor and unapproved design in the early 80’s. A realignment of the access road into the Estate from the A824 is also in place to ensure safe vehicular access for all road users. A new Estate wall to replace the dilapidated, previously removed wall is also consented with a side gate to permit public access.
We have secured planning permission to form a ‘borrow’ pit. This will provide gravel
and sand for the Estate – thus avoiding significant traffic movement along the A827 which would result from the importation of aggregates from outside quarries via the A9.
Planning Consent has also been secured for the formation of a tree nursery – this will provide stock for the extensive replanting over the estate following decades of no tree management. The trees will enhance the Estate for future generations, provide habitat for wildlife and replace the trees removed due to their dead, dying or dangerous condition.
Planning Consent is in place for a cycle route / path running parallel to the Drummond Hill Road. This takes pedestrians and bikes away from this narrow road, increasing road safety for all road users. It also extends the existing cycle and pedestrian path from Kenmore. This works was done in cooperation with Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust (Core Routes Enhancement) at their request and we were happy to work in cooperation with them to bring this application to a consented stage.
Q. What future approvals are needed to complete the property vision?
Back of House application in Newhall Woods. We have carried out sketch design proposal for back of house support buildings for the Estate and this is to be located at Newhall Woods in the vicinity of East Lodge. A formal Pre-Planning application was issued to Perth and Kinross Council and feedback has been received. On receipt of the feedback, our designers and other specialist consultants including ecologists, arborists, acousticians, and lighting designers have developing the proposals to accord with that feedback. We have held two community engagement events which are required under Scottish planning legislation. The first event attracted around 45 members of the public and the second event in excess of 200. Feedback was invited from the public and this is being actively considered and will form an intrinsic part of a future detailed planning application. It is likely a planning application will be submitted in the later part of 2023.
Housing application- we are revising the current consents for housing over the Estate. We feel the number of properties over the estate needs to be reduced to ensure the homes have an improved setting. In addition, this ensures there is less tree removal required when compared with the 2011 consent. In support of these future applications, we have updated the tree, ecology, roads, infrastructure, and flood risk surveys. Since the original consents were granted the flood risk has increased significantly due to climate change and new data from SEPA - this has necessitated the relocation of a number of the consented houses to a safer position. This has been done with the support and consent of Perth and Kinross Council and Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) in relaton to Housing Zone 1.
We have submitted a Planning and Listed Buildings applications for the conversion of the Dairy to become the Golf House. This building is in a parlous state and will be fully refurbished, preserved, enhanced, and brought back to a positive use. It’s one of a number of Heritage Assets over the estate.
Q: There are rumours that there will be 30 trucks moving earth on the back road each day. Is there any truth to this?
A: While we do aim to use the materials already present on the estate, we may need to bring in additional material for the golf course. While we cannot give a specific number of trucks on any given day, we are aware of the impact it may have on traffic and commit to doing everything possible to minimise disruption and traffic in the surrounding areas.
To reduce the number of vehicles used for earthworks on the A827, it would be beneficial to find,and use borrow pits on-site or within the catchment area. This would result in a safer and less congested A827, with fewer slow-moving vehicles. Local borrow pits, like the one at Inchadney, would be even more ideal as they would minimise the impact on the A827 and reduce travel distances for construction traffic. The West Gate access was created with the same goal of improving safety on the A827 by minimising travel distances for construction traffic.
CORE PATHS AND ACCESS
Q. How many miles of trail are open on the Estate?
Approximately 3.8km of public trail on the Taymouth Castle Estate allowing access from Kenmore to Crog Moraig. The diversions reflect changes in the path which were granted by Perth and Kinross Planning Department due to active construction and health and safety protocols.
Q. Will there be path access in the future?
Yes. Taymouth is fully commided to maintaining a core path through the property now and in the future.
Q. Is the fencing that borders the track near the A827 permanent?
The fence is temporary and does not restrict access to the core paths.
Q. You have suggested that there will be improvements made to that track. Is this correct?
A: We are currently considering options to improve the track, but it is still in the very early stages. We will provide more information as soon as it becomes available.
Q. What properties are owned by DLC in the Kenmore Village?
The Kenmore Hotel, The shop and post office, Taymouth Trading, Brae Cottages, Am Fasgadh & Gatehouse, Paper Boat, Police House, St. Margaret’s & Willowbank, Nurses Cottage, and Boathouse cottages.
Q. When will the Kenmore Hotel reopen?
Kenmore Hotel restoration works were started, and it was determined that the mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and fire safety elements caused for a more extensive redesign then possibly imagined. We are currently working through the extensive redesign and will be consulting with Perth & Kinross Council, Kenmore & District Community Council, and other relevant approving authorities. We intend to obtain the needed planning approvals and reopen for the public in spring of 2025.
Q. When will the Kenmore Shop reopen?
The local shop, which was closed by the previous owner, will reopen as a general store. We intend to reopen the store as quickly as possible and provide a high-quality service and community support for local residents and visitors to Kenmore. The intended opening date is the beginning of 2024.
Q. What are the plans for Taymouth Trading?
Current plans include a public facing restaurant and pub. It is early in design stages and concept plans are underway. Upon completion, we plan to share these with the Kenmore community council for community engagement and comment. The project will require planning approvals and building warrants through PKC and Historic Scotland. We estimate the process would take approximately 18-24 months. As milestones are reached, we will keep the community up to date.
Q. There are rumours you want to buy Kenmore School. Is this true?
No, we have asbsolutely no plans to purchase the school. On the contrary, we want to support the school and have already provided some assistance.
Q. Will there be future development on Loch Tay?
The beauty and splendor of Loch Tay is very important to us, and we are committed to full adherence to the Loch Tay Association Code of Conduct. Our intention is to reopen the Paper Boat as a restaurant for our neighbours’ and visitors’ enjoyment. Our team is currently in very early stages of design. We will provide further updates on our news pages.
Q. What are the plans for improving and opening bathrooms at the beach?
We understand the importance of a working facility to allow for proper beach enjoyment. The current bathroom location is in a flood area and requires additional design to find the best solution. Our team is exploring possible long-term solutions which would require obtained approvals (council, SEPA, P&K).
Q. Have you any plans for water sports on Loch Tay?
The beauty and splendor of Loch Tay is very important to us, and we are commided to full adherence to the Loch Tay Associa^on Code of Conduct. Canoeing, SUP, kayaking and light boa^ng with in the code of conduct.
Q. Is fishing available around the Estate?
Trout fishing will remain open to the public in designated areas. Trout fishing permits are available will remain available for daily purchase at our website. £12.50 per day, residents within 5 miles of the castle pay a reduced rate of £5.00 per day. Adjusted pricing will be reflected through entering your postal code in the transaction and the system automatically updates this amount. Further fishing details can be found on our community website, here.
Q. How many jobs have been created thus far and what are future projections?
The project is currently employing over 200 employees and contracted workers. 90% of these individuals live in Scotland, many of them locally, all of which are paid over the Real Living Wage. We’re estimating 200+ permanent on-site positions will be created, and an additional 200 third party service providers will be actively working across the estate (maintenance and service contractors).
Q. How will employment impact staff accommodations?
A significant number of local people is already employed on the Estate. We anticipate this will grow as the operational needs develop, we have plans to identify and revitalise unsustainable hospitality units, we are looking at all options to regionally expand workforce housing over the next several years. We have fully renovated the Gatehouse, Am Fasgadh, Brae units, Police House, and other facilities within Kenmore and we’ll continue to look for options for sustainable employee commutes.
Q. How will members and visitors impact the local community?
DLC members enjoy integrating with the local community and the economic impact is positive, leading to long term investment. Many visitors thus far have explored and experienced local and regional businesses. Additionally, current and future employees and their families will have a positive local impact.
Q. Are you committed to the Real Living Wage?
We are committed to a Real Living Wage and the growth and development of all employees. The team is currently in the accreditation process.
Q. Is there an economic assessment for the project and, if so, what does it say about the impact on the local community?
We are committed to doing a greater economic assessment and will share results when complete.
Q. Will there be road improvements made?
We are making several roadway and utility improvements within the Estate to ensure all consented properties can be safely accessed in all weather condi-ons. These improvements are being carried out in accordance with the current approved civil improvement plans.
Additionally, we have obtained consent for new access for a West access, just before Kenmore Beach. This will ensure there is only limited addi-onal traffic entering Kenmore itself. This will help to preserve the tranquility of the local area.
We are working on new proposals for a Back of House support area at the East end of the Estate. This aims to reduce traffic on the A827, diverting deliveries away from Kenmore and the East Gate. Our plans for this are all in the very early stages, and we hope to receive support from the relevant statutory authorities in the coming months.
Q. How do you expect your visitors to travel here, and will there be significant helicopter traffic?
Visitors to the Taymouth Estate and Kenmore Village will travel through a variety of methods, majority arriving by car with occasional helicopter.
Q. How have you made contributions to the local community?
Consideration for local support and initiatives is ongoing. Taymouth Castle sponsored a Christmas in Kenmore last year and commit to supporting this annual event. We have made a number or contributions throughout the town and region like Kenmore Primary School(contribution and programming) and continuously evaluate how we can support the community.
Q. Castle grounds have been used for car parking and visitor toilet facilities. Do you see this continuing?
We look forward to working with KCC to help provide solutions for parking and toiler facilities.
Q. What are you plans for Open Days?
We are committed to hosting Open Days on the estate to allow castle viewing and golf experiences. All proceeds will support local charities.
Q. Do you own Glenlyon Estate?
Yes. We purchased this property in 2022.
Q. Will additional residences be built on this land?
There will be no change in use from the previous owner, Glenlyon will be used for stalking, hiking, and outdoor sport activities, we have no plans to build any new residences on the estate.
Q. Is your team clearing near the historic Yew Tree?
No, we are not clearing any trees near the Yew Tree - that is not part of the Glenlyon Estate.
Q. Are you involving Glen Lyon Community Council?
Yes, indeed we are liaising with all the local community councils and are setting up a regular forum with them.
RESTORATION AND REFURBISHMENT
Q. What restoration and refurbishment work is currently in progress on the estate?
The restoration of all structures, beyond the castle, are very important to us. The following structures have been surveyed and plans are in development, if not already executed, to restore to its original form: Kennel Ruins, The Fort, Newhall Bridge, Chinese Bridge, Apollo’s Temple, Dairy Byre, The Dairy, Stone Urn, Maxwell’s Temple, Star Battery, The Icehouse, The Ramparts, The Ha Ha, Main Gate and Lodge, Kenmore Gate, The Breadalbane Wall, Estate Bridges, and The Estate Wall.
Q. What are the future plans for the remaining “at risk” buildings?
Preserving the history of the estate we hold to high accord. All at risk buildings on the Scottish Register have plans for restoration.
Q. Can you tell me more about the castle restorations?
Castle Restoration generally. Plaster, decoration, waterproofing, rot treatment and preservation.
Extensive repairs to the stained glass running into in excess of £500K and counting. Cleaning of all historic paintings to ceilings and repairs to gold leaf ceiling.
Extensive repairs and stone cleaning to the external fabric of the castle. Surveys to establish the correct stone to use on the castle - resulting in the importation of stone form a quarry in the West Coast of Scotland around 90 miles distant. Works are in excess of £1M.
The replacement of the Castle sewage treatment works. This results in the removal of very poor-quality effluent being discharged into the River Tay – and significant enhancement of the quality of the river results. This is great story given the significant poor press that Water Companies have in the UK at the moment. See here.
Extensive roof, wall and window repairs to the East Wing to avoid any more damage to the fabric – carried out ahead of an extensive project to bring the East Wing back to a positive use after 60 years of abandonment.
Updated 30 August 2023