Ninety jobs could be created in Lochaber to construct a 50-cabin, £12million luxury retreat in the shadow of Ben Nevis – with another 60 new jobs on the cards once it is built.
Councillors are being asked tomorrow to approve an application by Forest Holidays to build the massive development at Leanachan Forest, located west of the Nevis Range ski resort, which has attracted thousands of visitors to its slopes each year.
The 77-acre site, at the foot of Ben Nevis, would accommodate 50 ‘eco-sensitive’ timber cabins comprising of one to five bedroom properties.
Officials say the project will create more than 60 full-time jobs both on location and within the local community once built, and generate up to £1million to the local economy.
A report to the south planning committee recommends approval, stating 90 construction jobs would be created during the building stage.
The proposal includes five one-bedroom cabins, 26 two-bedroom cabins, one of which would be disabled accessible, 13 three-bedroom cabins, one of which would be disabled accessible, and six four-bedroom cabins, two of which would have tree houses, making them in effect five bedrooms.
A comprehensive package of woodland management, tree planting and landscape planting is proposed, with native species.
Fort William, Inverlochy and Torlundy Community Council support the development, given certain conditions such as a reduction in speed limits on the nearby main roads from 60mph are put in place.
Encompassed within the development will be a forest retreat, a 360-degree mountain viewpoint, a cycle store, and 32 space car park.
The plans form part of the Forestry and Land Scotland’s 20-year, £25m Nevis Forest masterplan.
When lodging the application, Andrew Brook, the firm’s planning and environment manager, said: “Experience at our existing locations at Ardgartan Argyll and Strathyre in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park shows that our guests are seeking year-round experiences that connect them with the natural world and the special character of the local communities.
“Nevis is a truly inspirational area and we know this location will appeal to our guests who are looking to explore Scotland’s magnificent landscapes and forests.”