Plans to massively extend the Kings House Hotel in Glen Coe have been condemned by organisations Mountaineering Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland and the John Muir Trust.
With their original proposal to upgrade the historic hotel already approved by Highland Council, the developers, Black Corries Estate Management Ltd, have now applied for planning permission for a larger extension.
Mountaineering Scotland have dubbed the revised plan an 'industrial style building' that 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 new proposal is for a three-storey extension to the original two-story hotel, demolishing existing extensions which date back to the 1960s. A large new car park would also be built on the site, which occupies a prominent position beside the A82 on the edge of Rannoch Moor, in full view of iconic Munros such as Creise and Buachaille Etive Mor.
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."
"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."
- 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 official objection can be viewed here