Mountaineers have objected to plans to demolish the former home of disgraced TV personality Jimmy Savile to build a new house.
Proposals have been submitted to knock down the cottage at Allt-Na-Reigh in Glencoe where Savile lived from 1998 until his death in 2011.
Retail tycoon Harris Aslam wants to build a family home on the site which has been repeatedly targeted by vandals.
He also wants to turn outhouses previously used as workshops by renowned mountaineer Hamish Macinnes into a museum in memory of the climber.
Highly-valued scenic glen
Mountaineering Scotland has objected to the plan until a landscape and visual impact assessment is carried out.
The organisation, which has more than 16,000 members, says the cottage is situated in a prominent position in a highly-valued scenic glen, in a National Scenic Area.
In a letter to Highland Council planners, CEO Stuart Younie said: “It is not overstating the case to say that the location and the prospect westward to The Three Sisters can be said to be one of Scotland’s most iconic views, along with the views along the Glen from viewpoints on the southern summits and hill paths.”
Mr Younie said his group is not against the principle of demolishing the existing cottage to replace it with a new build.
But he said a modern structure, which may have an impact on views within a National Scenic Area, should be carefully considered.
“The mountains here are well-loved and have been frequented by generations of walkers and climbers and the glen itself is a popular tourist attraction.
“We think it is a serious omission of this planning application that there is but a single visualisation of the proposed new build in relation to the landscape, and no consideration of its potential visual impact from recreational viewpoints.”
He said more consideration should be given to how a renovated house and outbuilding would look from the popular hill paths and crags lying south of the A82.
“We urge The Highland Council to reject this proposal as it stands, until the applicant provides a landscape and visual impact assessment of the development against the special qualities of the National Scenic Area, from key recreational routes and viewpoints in this part of Glencoe.”
New design must be low-impact
Emily Bryce, National Trust for Scotland operations manager for Glencoe National Nature Reserve, has also raised concerns.
“The existing cottage at Allt na Reigh can be viewed in multiple directions from surrounding NTS land, which is accessed by hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, as well as several million more people who drive past it on the A82.
“Given its sensitive location in the heart of the glen, we feel that any new building design must be low-impact and blend in with this nationally important landscape and its existing built heritage, visual identity and spirit of place.”
A previous plan in 2021 was scrapped after local outcry.
Mr Aslam now hopes to start work on site in the spring.
A design statement with the new application says the site has been occupied by a “number of well-known individuals” over recent years.
“This hasn’t always been to the benefit of the dwelling in that it has drawn unwanted attention and vandalism.
“The proposal aims to create a high quality dwelling, situated within the landscape to capture the surrounding views while creating a sense of place and distinct character which is intrinsically tied to the traditional vernacular of the area.”
Earlier this year, Press and Journal readers shared their views on whether the old cottage should be knocked down.
Mr Aslam has said the proposed design takes into account feedback from groups including Mountaineering Scotland, National Trust for Scotland, Highland Council and the community.
He said: “This really is an incredibly exclusive property and presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to develop something we can all be very proud of as adorers of the Glencoe valley and as proud Scots.”