A crumbling, derelict hotel in a Highland village – described as Scotland’s first ski hotel – is to be re-developed into affordable housing.
The 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 has now agreed to take over the property using a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), aided by a Scottish Government grant in providing affordable housing.
Local councillor and convenor Bill Lobban said: “The building, which sits in a prominent position, is not only an eyesore but is in such sever disrepair that it has become a potential hazard due to damage caused by rain water, break-ins and vandalism.
“In its heyday it was at the heart of the village but as each week goes by it steadily deteriorates more and more.
“The key site deserves to be given a new lease of life, so I am delighted that the meeting today unanimously backed the CPO.
“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 Struan Hotel replaced with homes for local families to live in.”
The Council has a draft Strategic Housing Plan for 2021-2026 that sets out key housing investment priorities.
The plan, which has been submitted to the Scottish Government for their approval, also identifies the resources required to deliver new homes and outlines the partnership approach with housing associations and developers to achieve the council’s commitment to providing more quality affordable housing across the Highlands.
Councillor Trish Robertson, chairwoman of the economy and infrastructure committee, said: “In our wider enabling role, our staff work hard to bringing forward sites for re-development throughout the Highlands, such as this one in Carrbridge.
“I look forward to the day when we take over ownership and work can start to transform the site for the benefit of the community.”
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.