A former Highland school believed to have links to famous Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson, is facing demolition.
The old school at Camusnacroise, Kingairloch, in Ardgour, is mentioned in his 1886 novel Kidnapped and is a feature of the Stevenson Way long-distance walking route.
But area planning manager Allan Todd will tell members of the council’s south planning applications committee that an application by Kingairloch Estate to replace it with a modern building is in line with the local development plan, and he is recommending approval.
The Robert Louis Stevenson Club and others interested in the literary history attached to the property, which is thought to have been constructed as early as 1770, are urging councillors to ignore the recommendation at the meeting in Inverness on Tuesday.
Ian Nimmo, former chairman of the club, said: “The old school is an important landmark in Scottish literary history and it would be so sad to see it disappear.”
And he pointed out that, until recently, there had been a sign on the property saying “David Balfour’s B&B” – the name of the character in Kidnapped who stayed in the building, which was then a manse.
Ian Logan, project manager for The Stevenson Way, said: “I’m very disappointed in the recommendation and in the attitude of the estate towards this property, which has resulted in it falling into a state of disrepair.
“It is part of the history of the area and of Robert Louis Stevenson and it would be a real shame if it is demolished.”
And local historian Iain Thornber said: “We need to preserve these sites to encourage historical tourism.”
The council received 13 objections to the proposal, mainly relating to the historic, cultural and literary interest of the building.
But Mr Todd’s report to the committee points out that Historic Scotland did not consider it to be worthy of listed building status.
However, he recommends conditions should be imposed on the consent, including a requirement that “evaluation, preservation and recording of any archaeological and historic features” must be carried out before work can start.
Susan Larson, who is one of the partners in the estate, could not be contacted for comment yesterday.
She previously said the property was “beyond repair” and pointed that they needed to diversify to ensure the future of the estate, which employs four full-time staff and six seasonal employees.