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Decision due on Dame Ann Gloag's controversial plans for holiday development on her castle estate near Beauly

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 expected to be determined by councillors next month.

The project, which includes 50 lodges and a glamping field, plus a small retail area and café, has run into strong opposition from locals and council transport and forestry officials have also raised concerns.

Amendments are now being sought, according to a report presented to Highland Council’s south planning applications committee.

Although the application states the venture would meet the demand for more visitor accommodation and bring economic benefits, it has sparked stongly-worded objections from Kiltarlity Community Council, the Beauly Fishing Syndicate and individual residents.

They are worried about antisocial behaviour, the impact on road safety and the environment, scale and a “Center Parcs-type of development” at the site.

The council’s transport planning team also raised concerns in its response during the summer and said it could not support the proposal until more information was provided on the potential increased levels of traffic, particularly at the junction of the A833 and A862.

They also noted the council’s forestry team objected to the removal of a significant area of woodland near the proposed access.

Officers recommended the access be moved away from the bend in the road.

In addition, they were not satisfied sufficient levels of car parking had been demonstrated and also recommended improved access to public transport and active travel.

Dame Ann Gloag.
Dame Ann Gloag.

The planning application has been lodged under the name of Edinburgh-based Gloag Investments, of which Mrs Gloag – who co-founded the international Stagecoach transport group – is a director.

Related story: Transport officers raise questions over Dame Ann Gloag's planned holiday development

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