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More objections to Dame Ann Gloag's proposed holiday development 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.

Business tycoon Dame Ann Gloag’s controversial plans for a holiday development have hit fresh opposition over the loss of an ancient woodland.

A planning in principle application for the project on her Beaufort Castle estate near Beauly, including 50 lodges and a glamping field plus a small retail area and café, has already sparked strong objections.

Community representatives and fishing interests have raised concerns about the impact on road safety, the environment, the scale of the development and risk of antisocial behaviour.

Highland Council’s forestry officer for south Highland has now objected, stating the plans would require the loss of a significant area of listed woodland.

Grant Stuart maintains the proposals do not promote significant protection to existing hedges, trees and woodlands on and around development sites and would be against the Highland-wide local development plan.

In an objection lodged with the council, he stated: “The proposals would require the loss of a significant area of woodland, all of which is listed in the Ancient Woodland Inventory as long-established plantation origin.”

He said the extent of woodland that would be lost would trigger the Scottish Government’s policy on the Control of Woodland Removal (CoWR) which notes removal should be allowed only where it would achieve significant and clearly-defined additional public benefits.

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.

“The proposals appear to be largely at the expense of woodland rather than co-existing with woodland,” Mr Stuart concludes.

The proposed venture is located between the River Beauly and the A833.

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.

It includes proposals for one, two and three-bedroomed lodges, a glamping field and service buildings including an amenity block/wash house with a small retail area and café.

An accompanying design statement maintains there is a need for such a development amid rising visitor numbers to the wider area and it would generate economic benefits for the local area.

But it has sparked strongly-worded objections from Kiltarlity Community Council, the Beauly Fishing Syndicate and individual residents.

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