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Mountaineering Scotland objects to Kings House Hotel extension

Thursday 28th September 2017, 3:48pm

Plans to extend one of the most historic hotels in the Highlands with an ‘industrial style building’ which will dwarf the original have been condemned by Mountaineering Scotland.

The Kings House Hotel, on Rannoch Moor, near Glen Coe, has long been a favourite of mountaineers, dating back to the pioneering climbers in the first half of the last century.

But now Mountaineering Scotland wants to call time on plans for a major extension which they argue would be completely out of character both with the original building and the surrounding landscape, which is part of a much-loved National Scenic Area.

The proposal, by Black Corries Estate Management Ltd, is to create a large, three-storey extension to the original two-story hotel, demolishing existing extensions which date back to the 1960s.

David Gibson, Chief Executive Officer for Mountaineering Scotland, said: “The Kings House Hotel is located in a part of the National Scenic Area which is recognised for its unique and unrivalled natural heritage, but the proposed development appears as an industrial-style building. It is not sympathetic to its surroundings or to the existing historic hotel building.”

Mr Gibson added: “Scottish mountaineering, and many of our members, have a long association with the Kings House and we recognise its value as an amenity. We did not object to the original planning application made in 2016 – which was granted by Highland Council – because we felt it was more in keeping with both the original building and the landscape.

“But this new application is arguably no different to hotel buildings found in large cities and certainly does not “respect, enhance or make responsible use of our natural assets” as required by the National Planning Framework.”

 Mr Gibson concluded: “Mountaineering Scotland is not against the appropriate development of the Kings House and would support a well-designed extension as proposed in the 2016 application, but the new proposal is most certainly not well-designed or in keeping with its surroundings and we object to it.”

Objections to the application have also been submitted by the National Trust for Scotland and the John Muir Trust.

The current planning application for the Kings House - 17/03703/FUL - can be viewed on the Highland Council website. The 2016 application previously granted was 16/00501/FUL.

Mountaineering Scotland’s full objection can be viewed here.

Photomontage of the proposed extension. Image c Covell Matthews Architects.