Controversy Surrounds Tycoon’s £23m Abergeldie Estate Plans Near Balmoral

Controversy Surrounds Tycoon’s £23m Abergeldie Estate Plans Near Balmoral

Alastair Storey’s Ambitious Vision for Abergeldie Estate Raises Eyebrows

Alastair Storey, a hospitality tycoon who purchased the 11,500-acre Abergeldie Estate next to Balmoral in 2021, faces backlash from locals over his plans to construct a new mansion and transform the estate into a luxury resort.

The proposal, including self-catering units and wildlife tours, has sparked concerns about its impact on the picturesque Royal Deeside landscape, known for being a favorite view of Queen Camilla.

Protests Emerge Over £23m Estate Transformation: Locals Unhappy with Proposed Mansion

Storey’s Vision Meets Local Resistance

Abergeldie Estate’s transformation into a lavish resort, spearheaded by Alastair Storey, chief executive of Westbury Street Holdings, triggers discontent among locals who argue that the proposed new mansion would mar the scenic beauty of Royal Deeside.

The objections stem from concerns about the potential negative impact on the historically rich and aesthetically significant surroundings.

Architectural Clash: Locals Criticize Design as “Inappropriate” and “Alien”

Community Voices Concerns on Aesthetic and Cultural Compatibility

Critics, including locals such as Andrew Bevan, Miss T Black, and Ann Miles, express their dissatisfaction with the proposed mansion’s design.

Describing it as a “monstrosity” and “ugly,” they argue that the structure clashes with the traditional Scottish vernacular architecture and is out of place in the historic Abergeldie Estate.

Concerns are raised about the potential “detrimental impact on the historic ambience” and the need for architectural designs in harmony with the area’s climate and heritage.

Defending the Vision: Storey’s Architects Emphasize Queen’s Affection for the View

Architects Cite Queen Camilla’s Endorsement in Design Justification

Storey’s architects, in planning documents, defend the vision, highlighting the scenic nature of the site and referencing a special edition of Country Life magazine, edited by Queen Consort Camilla, where she described the view from Bovaglie as her favorite in the world.

The architects argue that the design aligns with the sentiments expressed by the Queen and Storey, emphasizing the need for appropriateness.

History of Hurdles: Earlier Plans Scrapped Amid Appearance Concerns

Revised Designs Prompted by Initial Criticism

Previous designs for the mansion were scrapped after facing objections related to appearance and fears of obstructing a popular walking route.

Alastair Storey’s decision to revisit the plans and proceed with new designs in December has reignited the controversy, prompting renewed opposition from locals.

From Royal Use to Commercial Venture: Storey’s Previous Controversial Move

Lease Termination Raises Eyebrows

Alastair Storey attracted controversy earlier when he terminated a 175-year-old leasing agreement with the royal family, allowing them to shoot, hunt, and fish on the estate.

The estate’s shift from royal recreational use to commercial shooting under Storey’s ownership has stirred public debate.

Council Decision Looms: Aberdeenshire Council to Rule on Abergeldie Estate Plans

Future of Estate Transformation Hangs in the Balance

Aberdeenshire Council is set to make a decision on the proposed plans for Abergeldie Estate in the coming months.

The outcome will determine whether Alastair Storey’s ambitious vision for the estate, amid local resistance, will come to fruition.

MailOnline has reached out to Abergeldie Estate for additional comments.

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