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Controversial plans by Dame Ann Gloag for holiday lodges at her Highland castle estate near Inverness are recommended for approval

By Val Sweeney

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The proposed lodges on Ann Gloag's estate at Beaufort Castle near Beauly.
The proposed lodges on Ann Gloag's estate at Beaufort Castle near Beauly.

Controversial plans by business tycoon Dame Ann Gloag for a holiday development at her Beaufort Castle estate near Beauly are being recommended for approval.

The project, set to include 50 lodges and a glamping field, plus a small retail area and café, has attracted objections from locals and forestry officers.

Concerns have also been raised by transport planning officers.

Dame Ann Gloag.
Dame Ann Gloag.

But new documents show Highland councillors will be asked next week to grant permission in principle subject to 20 conditions.

Objections from locals and Kiltarlity Community Council include concerns about road safety due to lack of visibility at the site access and effluent going into the River Beauly.

In a report to go to councillors, planning manager Elaine Watt pointed out there was no development of this type and scale in the Inverness and Beauly area.

She acknowledged it was difficult to accurately predict the likely impact of the overall development on the local road network as full details, including the number of lodges, are still to be finalised.

But she stated the applicant had agreed to relocate the access to allow for greater visibility as requested by the council’s transport planning team.

The council’s forestry officer has also objected on the grounds of loss of woodland.

Ms Watt stated: "This proposal was always going to have to balance a number of competing interests from the promotion of tourist accommodation, expanding a local business and planting more native trees to the loss of woodland, potential habitat and ensuring safe access into the site.

"The applicant has sought to provide an appropriate level of detail for this planning permission in principle application and, while a significant amount of detail still requires submission, it is considered that the applicant has submitted sufficient information to demonstrate that it is possible to develop this site for holiday accommodation while maintaining appropriate safeguards for ecological concerns."

Related story: Decision due on Dame Ann Gloag's controversial plans for holiday development on her castle estate

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