Danish billionaire Anders Povlsen’s company lodged plans to expand his Strathmore estate in Sutherland.
The proposal, tendered with Highland Council, is for the realignment of a section of unclassified road, the restoration and renovation of a cluster of estate buildings, removal and landscaping of livestock pens at Alltnacaillich cemetery and the construction of a new hydro-electric turbine house.
The application was lodged on April 1, three weeks before Mr Povlsen and his wife lost three of their children in the horrific Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka.
Councillors on the north planning committee noted the application without comment yesterday, and it can now proceed to potentially receive full permission.
His company, Wildland, wants to restore a 19th century bothy for accommodation, and remove a low stone wall to allow new access and parking.
The next door keeper’s house will be remodelled, with the demolition of the garage and residential annex, and re-clad to match the historic Strathmore Lodge, a Victorian corrugated iron-clad fishing lodge.
The existing game larder is to be retained.
A survey revealed breeding roosts of bats in the larder and turbine house, and non-breeding roosts in the keeper’s house and garage, so suitable roosting space has been designed into the new buildings.
The cluster is served by a 1950s hydroelectric scheme, and Wildland proposes to improve it to prevent flood damage.
A new one-and-a-half story turbine house with a garage and storage building is proposed, partly set into the river terrace.
Landscape works are proposed to tie the building cluster into the landscape, define the garden area and rationalise the access and parking.
Almost half a mile of unclassified public road is proposed for realignment, including the construction of a new bridge spanning the Allt na Caillich.
Planners say the alignment has been carefully designed to deal with flood risk, minimise the size of bridge required, avoid sensitive habitats and impact on the Allt na Caillich’s floodplain.
The site is at the extreme western edge of the Kyle of Tongue National Scenic Area (NSA), and nudges the Ben Hope Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Planners say the realigned road and bridge will result in an effect on the local landscape, but this is not considered significant and would not affect the special qualities of the NSA.
Nor would it effect the setting of Dun Dornaigil broch, the scheduled monument almost half a mile to the south, the planners concluded.