Lighthouse with a bright future, yours for £450k
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