An Angus businessman who has invested £2 million in a new lodge development in the Mearns has highlighted the potential economic spin-offs for the surrounding community.
Developer Bill McDonald overcame community objections to win planning permission to develop the holiday park called Royal Arch Riverside Park on the site of a former piggery near Fettercairn.
A number of show homes are already on the site, which will see more than 50 units in the first phase.
Homes come with price tags between £70,000 to £250,000, with more expensive lodges placed in a gated section.
Mr McDonald acknowledged there had been concerns about the development but that early work on site had changed people’s minds.
He said: “The site was previously redundant farmland and had asbestos on it.
“We have completely cleared all of that away.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The Courier newsletter
“We have since shown a number of local residents and businesses around the site and the feedback has been very positive.
“The fact is that this development will generate economic spin-offs for the local economy and when our website goes live we will be showcasing businesses in the area on it.”
The first phase has a projected completion timescale of two years.
Three retail units, including a boutique salon, café/bistro and angling shop, as well as a reception and office will also be constructed.
A trout loch will be a feature of the development.
Mr McDonald, whose business interests are now focused in Aberdeenshire, believes that lodge developments in Scotland will become increasingly popular after Brexit.
He said: “I’ve been to a number of trade shows down south and there is a feeling that if travelling abroad becomes more difficult after Brexit, then people staying in the south of England will find Scotland, and certainly this area, even more attractive than they do now.
“As well as being a quality holiday home, these units have strong investment potential and could attract between £600 to £1,200 per week, per season for lettings, so there is an achievable second income from them.
“We also have an experienced lettings and maintenance team to assist with this too.”
A total of eight jobs have already been created at the park, which will be open all year round.
The team are organising an open day to be held at the end of June.