Loch Ness holiday 'pods' plan faces local opposition
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A plan to build five holiday pods south of Drumnadrochit is facing fierce opposition due to fears over traffic, flooding and the possible destruction of wildlife habitats.
Applicant James Munday wants to site the luxury ‘glamping-style’ accommodation and replace an existing reception building with a much bigger one at Ancarraig Lodges, near Bunloit.
Currently, the business has 12 larger lodges, with the new additions, a parking area and an access road to be built beside them.
The proposed timber-clad pods feature a studio bedroom, lounge and kitchenette space with a bathroom and outside decking area.
But the planning application has attracted strong opposition.
Dr Alison Strange objected to building in an area classed as hinterland, countryside – where planning criteria are more stringent.
She wrote: “The proposed development is in an area of woodland and the run-off drainage will have a severe impact on the burn culverted under the Bunloit road.
“Last winter the burn overflowed and caused the road edges to erode. If the council is minded to approve this development, an enlargement of the culvert would be required to cope with winter flows.”
Dr James Vestey, who until recently lived near the proposed development for 23 years and remains involved in local wildlife management, said: “This proposed development is sited in a special landscape area, designated as hinterland, within semi-natural woodland.
“It would further adversely affect the view from the Great Glen Way and increase traffic along it.
“The poor state of the Bunloit road is well known … parts of it have collapsed in recent years and increased use is unsafe.
“The habitat within the wood has already been degraded with excessive development in recent years, leading to disruption of nesting sites for rare birds.
“The poor supply of drinking water on the Bunloit shoulder is also well known and development of another multi-use site would adversely affect the aquifers from which existing residents draw their water.
“The Bunloit area suffers from difficult access to drinking water and the extra pressure on spring supplies may impact existing supplies.”
But a commissioned hydrological study concluded there would be no adverse effect on the water supply, while full drainage and tree protection plans were supplied.
The matter will be decided under Highland Council delegated powers.