Restoration plans for fire-ravaged Boleskine House on the banks of Loch Ness have been approved by councillors.
They also approved Boleskine House Foundation’s plans for 10 holiday cabins, sunk into a field overlooking the loch and roofed with turf.
Councillors were warned at the start of the item at this week’s south planning committee that because of the previous history of the house as one time home of occultist Aleister Crowley, the plans had attracted a number of objections.
But planners said these objections were not material considerations, and should not be taken into account in the decision process.
Committee chairman Jimmy Gray said: “Full cognisance was taken from officers’ advice to set aside matters associated with previous ownership of the property which are not material in planning matters.”
The plans have also attracted a good deal of support.
Local councillor Margaret Davidson expressed concerns regarding roads condition and capacity, and asked for work to be done on these prior to construction beginning, with local members to be consulted on the road management plan.
She also asked for local members to be consulted on replanting schemes to ensure the right mix of trees and vegetation.
Councillors also approved the application for reinstatement of the fire-damaged building, with some alterations, not including full internal fit-out and agreed the recommendation to grant listed building consent with conditions to safeguard the building’s character and qualities.
Councillors questioned the potential uses of the house in future.
He said: “Community and other charitable events have been considered.
“We will engage with the local community about ideas in the future, but for now our primary mission is to save the listed building, get a roof on it and to get the building wind and water tight.”