Horse therapy benefitting soldiers and victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster is coming to the north-east.
Equine experts Marianne Shand and Robbie Kelman have spent almost two years working on bringing their business to Aberdeenshire and have now got the green light after a tense vote at Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure committee yesterday.
The construction of five yurts can now begin on land at Bogton between Turriff and Aberchirder and they will be used for “glamping” by visitors – including those undergoing the therapy.
Ms Shand said: “Robbie and I are delighted the committee has approved the application for our glamping site.
“The glamping site offers luxury glamping accommodation set in a very secluded, beautiful rural area. We are hoping to offer accommodation to those seeking equine therapy, which involves the use of horses and therapists to treat a wide range of mental health issues, from addiction to low self-esteem.”
Ms Shand is working with victims of last June’s Grenfell Tower disaster in London, in which 71 people died.
She was unable to attend yesterday’s committee meeting as she was working with young soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Bob McGregor, principal designer at Cooper and MacGregor architects, which handled the planning application, said: “Our clients are overjoyed with this approval, although it has taken almost two years to get through planning.”
Five people wrote to the council to formally support the application and five formally opposed it. Formantine Area Committee had voted to support the plan after its members visited the site.
But a report that went to yesterday’s committee meeting recommended refusal amid concerns it could cause traffic problems as people drive on and off the site.
The issue was put to the vote and councillors voted eight to six in favour of granting permission.