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Mountaineering Scotland condemn £10million redevelopment plans for historic hotel

An artist impression of the development
An artist impression of the development

It has long been a favourite watering hole for mountaineers, walkers and skiers visiting Glencoe.

But £10million plans to redevelop historic Kings House Hotel on Rannoch Moor have been condemned by the official body which represents thousands of climbers.

Mountaineering Scotland claim the 60-bedroom proposal for the 17th century former droving inn would introduce an ‘industrial-style building’ to one of the most scenic parts of the country.

The plan by Black Corries Estate Management is to create a three-storey extension to the original two-story hotel, demolishing existing extensions dating back to the 1960s.

Mountaineering Scotland, who say the location has been a favourite with climbers since the pioneering days of mountaineering, wants to call time on the plans.

Chief executive David Gibson said: “The Kings House Hotel is located in a part of the National Scenic Area which is recognised for its unique and unrivalled natural heritage, but the proposed development appears as an industrial-style building.

“It is not sympathetic to its surroundings or to the existing historic hotel building.

“Scottish mountaineering, and many of our members, have a long association with the Kings House and we recognise its value as an amenity.

“We did not object to the original planning application made in 2016 – granted by Highland Council – because we felt it was more in keeping with both the original building and the landscape.

“But this new application is arguably no different to hotel buildings found in large cities and certainly does not ‘respect, enhance or make responsible use of our natural assets’ as required by the National Planning Framework.”

Mr Gibson added: “Mountaineering Scotland is not against the appropriate development of the Kings House and would support a well-designed extension as proposed in the 2016 application.”

Objections to the application have also been submitted by the National Trust for Scotland and the John Muir Trust.

A spokesperson for Bidwells, the managing agents for the project, said the previous planning application was found to be inefficient, insufficient and uneconomically viable, adding: “In order for the development to proceed it must meet the minimum requirements of 60 bedrooms under one roof.

“The proposed new building will be no higher than the trees that surround it and will incorporate sympathetic use of natural materials. The objections to the plans are an incredibly disappointing response to what is a forward-thinking, well-conceived, economically supportive project in the West Highlands.”

They added that it would create more than 40 jobs.

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