The billionaire ruler of Dubai has won planning permission to extend his Highland hideaway by another 28 bedrooms.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum had faced opposition – including from the church and local community council – to his plans for a massive development at his Wester Ross bolthole which was likened to a “Travel Inn.”
One protester even wrote to planners complaining that “given the not insignificant financial means of the applicant, surely the quality should be of the highest finish.”
The sheikh had initially sought planning permission for another 37 bedrooms at his retreat, but withdrew plans for one of the proposed two lodges.
The withdrawn lodge, Ptarmigan, which had caused the most concern from objectors, was for nine bedrooms.
The sheikh’s architects say the family’s trips to Inverinate have been “limited by lack of accommodation” – despite already having 30 bedrooms there.
The 69-year-old sheikh, who founded the Godolphin racehorse stud – and is vice-president of the United Arab Emirates – made applications to Highland Council through his company Smech Properties Ltd.
Now approved – subject to conditions – is a lodge for 19 bedrooms as well as a nine-bedroom house.
“The proposals accord with the provisions of the Development Plan and there are no material considerations which would warrant refusal of the application,” said the council in issuing permission this week.
A spokeswoman for Highland Council confirmed both planning applications were approved under delegated powers.