Plans for a holiday letting cabin on the shores of a Black Isle village have been approved by Highland Council, despite some locals’ fears that it could impact on the otter population and a popular fishing pier.
The development is designed to provide small-scale tourist accommodation in Portmahomack in Easter Ross.
The proposal is to replace a former fishing bothy that stood on the site at Rockfield Pier but was removed after it collapsed.
Eight letters of objection were lodged, including concerns about the impact on otters and access for anglers to the fishing pier, which the developers own.
The north planning applications committee heard that the developers would continue to allow public use of the fishing pier.
A supporting letter to the local authority by Planit Highland, agents for developers William and Mary Paterson, said: “Tourism is a vital industry within the Highland economy and William and Mary’s business initiative is a sustainable step in the right direction.
“Despite the fact this is a privately-owned site, William and Mary have advised that there is no intention to prevent safe, fair and considerate use of the pier by tourists and fishermen.
“Their sentiment is evolved from a desire to maintain the fishing heritage and access within the community.
“This proposal would have no more impact on the existing wildlife than existing fishing and tourism does. What is proposed is a modest chalet which would be occupied by visitors who would also wish to view the wildlife and take an interest in the fishing community.”
Scottish Natural Heritage said they had no concerns for the welfare of the otter population in the area.