De­vel­oper urges com­mu­nity to cel­e­brate Glen­coe ho­tel plans

The Oban Times - - LOCHABER TIMES & OBAN TIMES - NEILL BO FIN­LAYSON nfin­layson@oban­times.co.uk

THE FAM­ILY be­hind the £10 mil­lion rede­vel­op­ment of the Kings House Ho­tel at Glen­coe has spo­ken of its dis­ap­point­ment at the neg­a­tive com­ments from ob­jec­tors to their plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion, as they sub­mit re­vised plans to the High­land Coun­cil for per­mis­sion.

The own­ers said that the ob­jec­tions to their orig­i­nal ap­pli­ca­tion will cause much de­lay to the open­ing of the new ho­tel, and will be to the detri­ment of the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

James Al­lan, sur­veyor with man­ag­ing agent Bid­wells, said on be­half of the Kings House own­ers: ‘Con­sid­er­ing that a ba­sic ren­o­va­tion of the ex­ist­ing ho­tel would have been im­pos­si­ble and un­sat­is­fac­tory be­cause of the very bad con­di­tion of the build­ing, poor lay­out and sub­stan­dard fa­cil­i­ties, a new build­ing was the only valid op­tion. Over re­cent years, the King’s House Ho­tel was not well known for its com­fort, food of­fer­ing or over­all cus­tomer rat­ing.’

Four for­mal ob­jec­tions have been lodged against the orig­i­nal plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion, which was sub­mit­ted to the High­land Coun­cil in Au­gust. These in­clude ob­jec­tions from lead­ing con­ser­va­tion or­gan­i­sa­tions the John Muir Trust, the Na­tional Trust for Scot­land and Moun­taineer­ing Scot­land, which urged the coun­cil to re­ject the plans on the grounds that the de­signs are not in keep­ing with the sur­round­ing area.

Mr Al­lan ex­plained that the devel­op­ers have taken heed of the ob­jec­tions and made al­ter­ations to the plans, even though the of­fi­cial land­scape and vis­ual im­pact assess­ment con­cluded that the orig­i­nal pro­posal ‘will not have any sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the sur­round­ing land­scape’.

‘We have con­sid­ered the ob­jec­tions and li­aised closely with the plan­ning team at High­land Coun­cil and can con­firm that we lodged amended plans last week which pro­pose a low­ered roofline for the ex­ten­sion,’ he said.

‘We are very hope­ful that the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion will be suc­cess­ful and that the com­mu­nity can cel­e­brate what is a su­perb de­vel­op­ment.’

The orig­i­nal 17th-cen­tury drov­ing inn, owned by Black Cor­ries Es­tate Ltd, has been closed since Novem­ber ahead of the pro­pos­als to build a three-storey, 60-bed­room ho­tel on the land­mark site in Glen­coe. Work on the £10 mil­lion pro­ject got un­der way this week, with parts of the ex­ist­ing build­ing be­ing de­mol­ished.

Andy Meldrum, owner of the nearby Glen­coe Moun­tain Re­sort, has shown his sup­port for the plans, say­ing: ‘Glen­coe Moun­tain Re­sort is de­lighted to hear of the plans to bring new ac­com­mo­da­tion to the area. Dur­ing both sum­mer and win­ter there is a lack of ac­com­mo­da­tion in the area so all new beds are highly wel­come. From the 3D im­age we have seen, the new ho­tel looks like it will be a great as­set to the area.’

A pub­lic in­for­ma­tion fo­rum will take place on Satur­day Novem­ber 18, at the St Mary’s Church Hall, Glen­coe. This will be a drop-in meet­ing for those wish­ing to find out more about the de­vel­op­ment and will run from noon to 4pm, with a short pre­sen­ta­tion start­ing at 3pm.

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