National Trust Scotland opposes plans to turn Jimmy Savile’s Glen Coe cottage into a home

The National Trust for Scotland has opposed plans to convert Jimmy Savile’s vandalized Highland cottage into a ‘futuristic’ home.

The conservation organization criticized the details of the proposed property at Allt-Na-Reigh in Glencoe, saying it would ‘insensibly dominate the landscape’.

The plan to develop the disgraced DJ’s former home has faced a series of objections from bodies including Mountaineering Scotland.

Savile lived at the remote property from 1998 until his death in 2011 and allegedly abused up to 20 people there.

It has been repeatedly vandalized with slogans over the years since his death.

The National Trust for Scotland has opposed plans to convert pedophile DJ Jimmy Savile’s former Highland cottage into a ‘futuristic‘ home. Pictured: Designs for the property at Allt-na-Reigh in Glencoe

The chalet sits beside the A82 Fort William road in Glasgow and was also once the home of mountaineering legend Hamish MacInnes, who founded mountain rescue teams, invented the MacInnes stretcher – which is used for rescues around the world – and also designed the first all-metal ice. chopped.

After Savile’s death in 2011, the two-bedroom bungalow was put up for auction.

It was bought for £212,000 with the buyer intending to live there.

It has since been purchased by the family of retail magnate Harris Aslam, who want to replace it with a distinctive modern home.

However, the National Trust for Scotland has now submitted an objection, joining Mountaineering Scotland in criticizing the potential new property.

They wrote that “the greatly enlarged scale and contemporary design of the proposed new building does not reflect Glen Coe’s distinct and long-established built heritage and would imperceptibly dominate the landscape in this highly visible location in the heart of the Glen Coe pass. “.

Following revelations of the late owner Savile's prolific sex crimes, the cottages were repeatedly vandalized and slogans sprayed on its walls.

Following revelations of the late owner Savile’s prolific sex crimes, the cottages were repeatedly vandalized and slogans sprayed on its walls.

The pedophile is believed to have used the remote cottage to abuse up to 20 people

The pedophile is believed to have used the remote cottage to abuse up to 20 people

The body also added: ‘We believe a deliberate contemporary style building in a prominent location in Glen Coe is unprecedented and will distract from the immersive experience of traveling through a landscape renowned and loved across the world.

“It undermines our nation’s reputation for respecting natural and cultural heritage, without delivering any obvious public benefit.”

Mountaineering Scotland, which has more than 15,000 members, also opposed the proposal to the Highland Council.

“The cottage is prominently located on a bend in the road and features one of Scotland’s iconic views, the view of the Three Sisters of Glencoe from the A82 heading west,” the organization said. climbing.

“Having reviewed the artist’s impressions of the new design which were submitted with the planning application, Mountaineering Scotland has concerns about what is on offer.

“The concept of rebuilding a chalet there is good, because there has been a chalet here for many years.

“What we question is the design which seems to raise the building above the edge of the road, making it look proud in the landscape.

Mountaineer, writer and broadcaster Cameron McNeish has previously disputed calls to bulldoze the property over its connection to mountaineer MacInnes, saying his story should not be overshadowed by the paedophile.

Mountaineer, writer and broadcaster Cameron McNeish has previously disputed calls to bulldoze the property over its connection to mountaineer MacInnes, saying his story should not be overshadowed by the paedophile.

“This has the effect of drawing the eye to the structure itself and away from the scenic landscape, seeming to impose the building on the landscape, rather than in the landscape as the plans suggest.

“Furthermore, the planning application does not take into account the appearance of the renovated dwelling and outbuilding from the popular hill paths and rocks to the south of the A82, particularly the descent into the Glen from Coire Gabhail and Buachaille Etive Beag.

“It’s in a National Scenic Area, a designation that recognizes the scenery here is up there with the best Scotland has to offer.”

There was a community consultation on these plans in September which Mountaineering Scotland CEO Stuart Younie attended.

The conclusion was that there was no problem with renovating a chalet on the existing development footprint or the principle of demolishing the existing chalet to allow it to be replaced by new construction.

“However, since a detailed planning application was lodged, the community council and a number of local residents have lodged objections,” Mountaineering Scotland added.

“There was also an intention to restore the historically significant dependency, with an ’emphasis on reinforcing the positive effect that Hamish MacInnes had on the pitch, the dependency being a symbol of that’.

“It is disappointing that the architect’s plans to convert the outbuilding into habitable accommodation bear little resemblance to the existing outbuilding, making it difficult to see how the claim to reinforce Hamish MacInnes’ legacy is substantiated.

“The matter now rests with Highland Council’s planning department and we urge Highland Council to refuse planning permission on the grounds that the location and design of this particular development at this specific location is inappropriate and would adversely affect the quality and to the character of the landscape in Glen Coe.’

Several others have objected, including a couple who described the proposed accommodation as a “grand futuristic building” and the Glencoe and Glen Etive Community Council also have concerns.

But NatureScot wrote: “There are internationally important natural heritage interests at the site, but our view is that these will not be affected by the proposal.”

Mr Aslam, who is in his 20s, is a director of Scottish convenience store operator Eros Retail, based in Fife, part of the Glenshire family business group.

Together with his cousin and business partner Raza Rehman – and other family members – they bought the property from an Edinburgh builder for £335,000.

He said they wanted to make it a family home with its “beautiful location”.

During a question-and-answer session with around twenty people, it was clarified that if MM. Aslam and Rehman had considered renovating the existing main building, which would be the easiest and cheapest option, it was concluded that this was not viable if they wanted to rid the site of its association with Savile.

“Yes, the property has a dark history – but only for a certain period.” I think we can make something really positive out of it,” Mr. Aslam said.

Over the years the chalet had several slogans plastered on its walls – which had been whitewashed years earlier in an attempt to deter vandals.

The word “paedo” was daubed on the side of the hillside house. Among the previous slogans was scrawled “Jimmy the Beast”.

Savile first saw the chalet while on a cycling holiday in 1944.

The disgraced DJ once entertained Prince Charles at a cottage dinner and he was featured in Louis Theroux’s acclaimed documentary When Louis Met Jimmy.

He became a regular in the village of Glencoe, with locals saying he was an ‘attention seeker’ who walked around in a Highland kilt waving at passing tourists.

A local man described how he asked for the DJ’s autograph and instead received a bizarre message from him saying ‘lost girls’ should pay him a visit.

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