Plans by fashion designer Stella McCartney and her husband to build a house in the Highlands could mean the loss of an area of ancient woodland, it is claimed.
Woodland Trust Scotland (WTS) has objected to an application from the couple for the proposal for Commando Rock in Glenuig.
It wants the application delayed or refused due to lack of information about its impact.
Stella McCartney, daughter of Beatle Paul, and husband Alasdhair Willis have lodged plans with Highland Council for the modern home at Commando Rock.
They have attracted more than 50 objections and a small number of letters of support.
Concerns about woodland impact of McCartney’s house
Some residents have raised concerns about impacts on wildlife, cutting down mature Scots Pine trees and access to a path to an area known locally as the Sandy Bay or Secret Beach.
WTS says the proposals lodged by Brown and Brown Architects will cause the loss of an area designated as ancient woodland.
There is also concern about potential loss of important native woodland of long established of plantation origin (LEPO) which may be as rich as ancient woodland.
Under the National Planning Framework 4 adopted by the Scottish Government in February, development proposals will not be supported if they result in any loss of ancient woodlands.
WTS’s objection says: “Any development that has adverse ecological impacts on ancient/LEPO woodland should not be supported by the council in line with the recently updated NPF4 and the Local Development Plan unless the applicant is able to demonstrate that loss and deterioration will be avoided.”
It also has concerns that people and pets could disturb breeding birds and other wildlife, as well as noise, light and dust pollution from the development.
The trust says an arboricultural impact assessment lacks key information, including defining the boundary of the ancient woodland in relation to the proposals.
But it says the report does make it clear five trees proposed for removal are within ancient woodland.
Buffer zone needed from house
It says a buffer zone of at least 15 metres should be set up to prevent impacts such as pollution and disturbance and to avoid root damage.
Fencing fitted with acoustic and dust screening measures should also be put in place during construction.
A number of objectors say the size, design and the siting of the planned development are inappropriate.
Lady Marie-Sophie Law de Lauriston, from London, says she visits the area every summer and was “simply horrified” by the plans.
Grace Yoxon, from the International Otter Survival Fund in Skye, said a full environmental impact survey must be done to check on any impact on otters said to be present in the area.
But Dr Roger Flint from Edinburgh said it is a “beautiful site, deserving of a beautiful home”.
He adds: This is a unique opportunity to design and construct a modern building which will support local jobs and suppliers, as well as providing much needed accommodation.
“It will enhance the natural beauty of the landscape.”
Professor Alan Dunlop, from Stirling, said it is an “exceptional project” and the house is a “very well considered, imaginative and thoughtful proposal” that enhances the site at Commando Rock.