Controversial Kings House Refurb Plans Approved

Controversial plans to give the historic Kings House Hotel in Glen Coe - one of Scotland's oldest licensed inns - a complete 'industrial style' overhaul have been given the go-ahead by Highland Council, despite appeals from conservation groups and Mountaineering Scotland to reconsider the proposal. The hotel dates back to the 18th Century and is an important hub in Scottish climbing lore, in addition to its appeal as a landmark and pub stop on the West Highland Way.

Photomontage of the proposed Kings House extension., 40 kb
Photomontage of the proposed Kings House extension.
© Covell Matthews Architects

The proposal by Black Corries Estate Management Ltd. is to create a large three-storey extension to the original two-storey inn, and to remove existing extensions made in the 1960s.

Mountaineering Scotland condemned the proposed extension as being oversized and out of character in a formal objection to the plans in September. Objections to the application were also submitted by the National Trust for Scotland and the John Muir Trust.

Reacting to Highland Council's decision, David Gibson, Chief Executive Officer for Mountaineering Scotland, said in a news report on their website: 'We are most definitely not against redevelopment of this much-loved hotel, which has played its own part in the area's climbing history.

'We made no objection to the original plans which were granted in 2016, for a building much more in keeping with the original building and the landscape.

'But this new plan which has been approved now 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.'

Forums (81 comments)

Mountaineering Scotland supported a scheme where they considered the damage was outweighed by the benefits to the community. They didn’t support a scheme where they considered the damage outweighed the benefits. What...
Well said. A similar knee jerk happens to anything being developed in the Lake District as well. "Lets keep it as it as - as THAT is the natural state WE like." The classic line "Great idea but here isn't ideal, it...
Evening (all). I'm clearly making a pigs ear out of my point (I'm close to surrender don't worry ... :) ) My point isn't that a different outcome could have been achieved in this specific case.  My point is to...
I think you inadvertently make a good point. The budget. A three story building with four gables is a bit of a statement of intent isn't it. Fill 'em all up or go bust. A more modest proposal would be cheaper and...
A building that looks good, is cheap long term to maintain, cheap to heat etc.. will pay for itself at that location in the long run.  It is in a location where you would never get planning for a new build, the views,...
I’m a little confused. The 2015 approved application gives a capacity of 80 rooms, the 2017 application talks about a target of 60 rooms (achieving 57), however there is no mention of the existing 45 rooms.

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