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/ Gates at King's House?

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Emily_pipes - on 02 Jan 2018

We made a quick pitstop at the King's House while driving down the A82 today, and they seem to be in the process of building two gates on the drive leading from the A82 to the hotel (which looks like it's been bombed -- so sad!) and bunkhouse. I wondered what naff thing the new owners have planned for it and why on earth does it need one gate, much less two. Does anyone know?
Post edited at 18:43
SouthernSteve on 02 Jan 2018
Dave Kerr - on 02 Jan 2018
In reply to Emily_pipes:

Gates! Gates! God damn it that's just the thin edge of the wedge, it'll be zip slides and Charlie Chalk's Fun Factory before we know it. How very dare they.
wercat on 02 Jan 2018
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Didn't know Bill's business interests were so widespread!
SouthernSteve on 02 Jan 2018
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Zip wire from the top of Buachaille Etive Mor at least!
Flinticus - on 03 Jan 2018
In reply to Emily_pipes:

From a BBC Scotland article dated 29 September, a spokeswoman for the develop said

"Following a financial review of the previous planning application the original design was found to be inefficient, insufficient and uneconomically viable.

"In order for the development to proceed it must meet the minimum requirements of 60 bedrooms under one roof.

"The current plans are best suited to deliver a financially viable proposition to our client who, in a philanthropic manner, is investing over £10m in this development

Can anyone explain how the term 'philanthropic manner' is relevant to this? I would consider it relevant if the client did not expect any return for it and it was for some kind of charitable endeavour, not a business proposition.

Cloverleaf - on 03 Jan 2018
In reply to Flinticus:

Wouldn't philanthropic be more appropriate if they rebuild it with fifteen rooms, thus guaranteeing them a loss maker? Surely they made the business case for the development prior to submitting the original plans? It seems to be that they've wilfully demolished on the basis of the original approval, before saying 'oh no, the original plans won't work, we'll need to double the size', and in doing so hope to strong-arm the planning committee into approving something they wouldn't have at the outset.
Emily_pipes - on 03 Jan 2018
In reply to Flinticus:
Indeed. "Philanthropic" to who? Sounds like the developer (or their spokesperson) believes philanthropy means "getting rich off big, super expensive hotel so I can afford that Lear jet."
Post edited at 18:06
The New NickB - on 03 Jan 2018
In reply to Flinticus:

I suspect it just means that the PR is a lot more stupid than they think they are!
Pursued by a bear - on 03 Jan 2018
In reply to Flinticus:

> Can anyone explain how the term 'philanthropic manner' is relevant to this?

It means he doesn't expect to get his money back but is going ahead anyway.

How truly philanthropic it is will be revealed once the prices for rooms, food and the bar are published.

T.

Minneconjou Sioux on 03 Jan 2018
In reply to Emily_pipes:

> I wondered what naff thing the new owners have planned for it and why on earth does it need one gate, much less two. Does anyone know?

Probably to try to keep the midges out
Robert Durran - on 03 Jan 2018
In reply to Emily_pipes:

> "Philanthropic" to who?

To those who get the jobs created?
GrahamD - on 04 Jan 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

Or to anyone who later buys into a viable business.
Flinticus - on 04 Jan 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

It still fails the philanthropic criteria as this will only go ahead if the developer makes money on it. Money paid to those who get jobs is in return for services provided so in no way philanthropic.
timjones - on 04 Jan 2018
In reply to Emily_pipes:

Have you got something against gates?
timjones - on 04 Jan 2018
In reply to Flinticus:

> It still fails the philanthropic criteria as this will only go ahead if the developer makes money on it. Money paid to those who get jobs is in return for services provided so in no way philanthropic.

It would surely be philanthropic if the developer was providing jobs whilst running the business at breakeven or for a very low return on their investment?

MG - on 04 Jan 2018
In reply to timjones:

> It would surely be philanthropic if the developer was providing jobs whilst running the business at breakeven or for a very low return on their investment?

Im sure that just what's happening.
keith-ratcliffe on 04 Jan 2018
In reply to Flinticus:
Definition: Philanthropist - a person who seeks to promote the welfare of others, especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.
Deleted bagger - on 04 Jan 2018
In reply to Emily_pipes:

Sounds like the developers have a Lochs & Glens sort of operation in mind.
keith-ratcliffe on 04 Jan 2018
In reply to Deleted bagger:
Their Main competitors - Highland Heritage have recently been taken over. Whereas previously their hotels were purely for the Coach tours they have now opened them to the public. Is the King's House going to be one of theirs?
Emily_pipes - on 04 Jan 2018
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:
My concern is that they're making it into an exclusive luxury hotel and there won't be a public bar or access anymore, though who knows how that would work with the bunkhouse next door. I've heard some rumours to this effect.

That would be a shame, given the venerable history of the old Climber's Bar and the hotel itself. Who knows what happens to the camping behind the hotel.

Philanthropy means private initatives for public good -- but that doesn't mean a private business, the purpose of which is to make the owner(s) money. While said business might provide some people with jobs, that's nice, but it isn't what philanthropy means, unless the hotel is also going to provide free accomodation to the underprivileged, hospital beds, a library, a rehab centre, an outdoor education centre, a research centre for the disease of your choice, or you know, anything else along those sorts of lines
Post edited at 21:29
Martin W on 05 Jan 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

> I suspect it just means that the PR is a lot more stupid than they think they are!

I'd already reached that conclusion when they used the phrase "uneconomically viable".
Jim 1003 - on 05 Jan 2018
In reply to Emily_pipes:

The new owners are anything but philanthropic, they previously gated the unmade road behind the hotel where the best camping was. They also put a gate on the car park opposite Jacksonville, but have given up with that after it was knocked/pulled off several times by angry residents of the hut. Philanthropic , definitely not, rich tw*ts, most definitely.
Martin W on 05 Jan 2018
In reply to Cloverleaf:

> It seems to be that they've wilfully demolished on the basis of the original approval, before saying 'oh no, the original plans won't work, we'll need to double the size', and in doing so hope to strong-arm the planning committee into approving something they wouldn't have at the outset.

The usual process these days seems to be: local authority rejects planning application on recommendation of its Reporter (usually on pettyfogging grounds like being contrary to the local development plan, adverse impact on protected environments, SSSIs etc), developer then appeals to the Scottish Government which plays the "presumption in favour of sustainable development*" card in order to overrule the LA. This may take a few cycles to work to completion but developers have deep pockets.

* Defined in Resolution 42/187 of the United Nations General Assembly as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Applying this criterion in the context of a given development would appear to require a crystal ball of more than usual acuity. Or you could just make it up, and be pretty confident that it would be unreasonably difficult to construct a conclusive counter-argument.
keith-ratcliffe on 05 Jan 2018
In reply to Emily_pipes:
You are right this is clearly a business venture that needs to make enough money to cover investment & operating costs and deliver a profit. It is also not what I think is in keeping with the historical, landscape & recreational aspects of the location.
A more sensitive development might be if a philanthropist - who cares for the environment - bought them out and gifted a new development to a group who would run it to suit the local community & users. It would need to cover its operating costs and a surplus for re-investment but not support a debt. This could be done with a range of sensitively designed accommodation of varying levels of luxury in a building that looks right in the wild landscape.
Sadly this will not happen.
I stayed at the King's House once and wrote this little piece that you might like. http://www.interfaceimages.co.uk/landscape/landscape35.htm
Post edited at 16:41
estivoautumnal - on 05 Jan 2018
In reply to Emily_pipes:

> My concern is that they're making it into an exclusive luxury hotel and there won't be a public bar or access anymore, though who knows how that would work with the bunkhouse next door. I've heard some rumours to this effect.

Don't believe all rumours. The climbers bar is being retained, although perhaps not in its original guise.

The gates are there because it's a building site. If without gates someone wandered on to the site and injured themselves the owners could be liable. Easier to put up a barrier than rely on the general public's "common sense".

The Old Kings House really was a bit of a hovel and if left to it's previous devises could have gone out of business. Penniless and impecunious West Highland Way walkers camping on a rough patch of ground and having a couple of pints just wasn't paying the bills. Like it or not rural hotels need to charge a lot to cover the bills.

The new design is ugly and in no way fits into the surrounding landscape.
Flinticus - on 05 Jan 2018
In reply to estivoautumnal:

Hey, I camped back there a few times and have never done the WHW.

Useful for winter camping when you could keep warm in the pub and have a few pints. Maybe they could have developed a modest campsite area rather than a 60 bed block.
Aonach on 06 Jan 2018
In reply to Emily_pipes:

The venerable history of the hotel is mostly around terrible beer, hit or miss food, dreadful rooms, fighting, stealing, horrible camping and shite-ing in holes in the ground.
Minneconjou Sioux on 06 Jan 2018
In reply to Aonach:

> The venerable history of the hotel is mostly around terrible beer, hit or miss food, dreadful rooms, fighting, stealing, horrible camping and shite-ing in holes in the ground.

Yes. I remember having to set up a tent there once in shifts between actually putting the tent up and sitting in the car to be able to breathe. Trying to take breaths outside resulted in a lungful of midges. Then it started to piss down all night and continued the next morning resulting in us packing up and going home.
lithos on 07 Jan 2018
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

sounds familiar!
mick t - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

just to set the record straight, the destruction/removal of the gates at the "Jacksonville" carpark, was nothing to do with the club and or its members. Do not cast accusations about maters you know nowt about. - Mick T club sec

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