Plans for a 50-cabin, £12million luxury holiday retreat in the foothills of Ben Nevis – which aims generate more than £1million a year and create 60 jobs – have been lodged.
Forest Holidays hope to build the massive development at Leanachan Forest, located west of the Nevis Range ski resort, which attracts 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 and generate an average of £30,000 per cabin in annual visitor spending across the Lochaber area.
Forest Holidays is now seeking full planning permission from Highland Council for the woodland complex which, they say, will “fit sensitively into the natural environment.”
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.”
Encompassed within the development will be a forest retreat, a 360-degree mountain viewpoint, a cycle store, and 32 space car park.
The plans forms part of the Forestry and Land Scotland’s (FLS) 20-year, £25m Nevis Forest masterplan.
Mr Brooks added: “Through our partnership with Forestry and Land Scotland we aim to help to deliver the Nevis Forest Master Plan and are confident that these proposals will help to maximise the area’s economic potential by increasing the number of visitors to the area and encourage them to stay longer.”
Councillor Allan Henderson welcomed the interim boost to tourist accommodation and employment to the area.
“Most of what has been happening in the Nevis Range area for years has been a transitory visitor,” he said:
“This gives them the chance to get more established and more stable visitors come within the area and hopefully they will do the marketing to be able to attract extra people to the area.”