Light­house with a bright fu­ture, yours for £450k

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - By Sam Walker

ITs idyl­lic lo­ca­tion and un­ri­valled scenery have been over­shad­owed by a dis­pute over ac­cess.

But lo­cals bat­tling to re­claim their right to en­joy the spec­tac­u­lar views from the grounds of Rua Reidh Light­house, Ross-shire, have been given a bea­con of hope now that the own­ers have put it up for sale.

For the past five years the nearby com­mu­nity of Mel­vaig has been at log­ger­heads with light­house res­i­dents Tracy and Roger McLach­lan, who run a bed and break­fast from the grounds of the build­ing.

They claim the his­toric ac­cess to a three-mile road lead­ing up to the cen­tury-old land­mark which was en­joyed by pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions has been taken away by the cou­ple, who say the track is pri­vate prop­erty.

The McLach­lans in­stalled a gate at the en­trance along with no-en­try signs daubed in anti-van­dal paint and wrapped in barbed wire. They were or­dered to re­move the wire by the lo­cal au­thor­ity.

The row es­ca­lated in March when Mrs McLach­lan, 54, blocked ac­cess to the track by park­ing a 4X4 to re­strict other driv­ers from turn­ing on the steep hill that leads to the bay. The landown­ers, the In­veras­dale Es­tate, later or­dered the re­moval of the ve­hi­cle.

The de­ci­sion to put the prop­erty on the mar­ket – at an ask­ing price of £450,000 – has been de­scribed as a ‘re­lief’ by Gair­loch Com­mu­nity Coun­cil sec­re­tary Frances Cree.

Miss Cree, 66, said: ‘The com­mu­nity would love for it to be sold to some­one who un­der­stands that the land around the prop­erty has al­ways been used by lo­cals and tourists and is re­garded as a beauty spot.’

she added: ‘Mr and Mrs McLach­lan tried to sell the prop­erty once be­fore but took it off the mar­ket when the com­mu­nity put in a “right to buy” of­fer.

‘It will be a re­lief for the dis­pute to end but what we don’t want is for the B&B to be sold with the wrong in­for­ma­tion. De­spite what its cur­rent own­ers say, the land is not owned by the own­ers of the B&B and they have no right to block ac­cess.’

The ad­vert, posted by es­tate agent strutt & Parker, de­scribes the build­ing as ‘oc­cu­py­ing a truly spec­tac­u­lar and in­spir­ing po­si­tion’, as well as an ideal lo­ca­tion to spot whales, dol­phins, bask­ing sharks, ot­ters and sea ea­gles.

Mr and Mrs McLach­lan were un­avail­able for com­ment.

Wran­gle: Light­house own­ers Roger and Tracy McLach­lan

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