A derelict hotel in a Highland village – described as Scotland’s first ski hotel – could soon be taken into council ownership and redeveloped as affordable housing.
The former Struan House Hotel in Carrbridge was famed for helping make the Cairngorms a snowsports attraction.
But after closing in 2006 it fell into serious disrepair and is now considered an eyesore in the community.
Highland Council plans to take over the property using a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), aided by a Scottish Government grant in providing affordable housing.
Badenoch and Strathspey councillor and Highland Council convener Bill Lobban said: “This is yet another part of the jigsaw of finally replacing this decrepit, derelict eyesore which has blighted the middle of Carrbridge for years and years.
“Despite the combined efforts of the Highland Council, Carrbridge Community Council and local residents progress has been almost glacial.
“Whilst it may be some time before we see the entire area redeveloped this should give local residents the assurance that before too long we will see the old and much loved Struan replaced with homes for local families to live in.”
Councillors sitting on the economy and infrastructure committee are next week being asked to give officials the go-ahead to begin the process of a CPO and turn the building into affordable housing accommodation.
Andrew Kirk, chairman of the Carrbridge Community Council, said: “This is very positive news. It is long overdue to make use of the site for much-needed housing.”
The Struan House Hotel was once owned by ski pioneer Karl Fuchs, a member of the 1948 Austrian Olympic team, and his wife, Eileen, who created in the 1950s what is believed to be Scotland’s very first ski school.
The hotel was bought in 2007 by Aberdeen-based property development firm Scoin Investment Partners, who had intended to convert it into five homes, but the plans never happened.
The hotel was put up for sale in 2010 with an asking price of offers over £405,000.
Council officials have said the building had fallen into a state of “severe disrepair” and become a potential hazard due to damage caused by break-ins and vandalism.
They have recommended using statutory powers to compulsorily purchase it with the aim of developing the land into affordable housing for the benefit of the community.
The officials said finding suitable sites in the area for building homes was “challenging”.