Controversial Redevelopment Plans for Jimmy Savile’s Former Cottage Unveiled
Locals in Glencoe, Scotland, are expressing concerns over proposed plans to demolish the infamous cottage once owned by disgraced broadcaster Jimmy Savile.
The family of Scots retail tycoon Harris Aslam, seeking to replace the cottage, faces objections from residents fearing the potential transformation into an Airbnb for tourists.
Community Reservations and Previous Withdrawn Plans
Despite a previous withdrawal of redevelopment plans by the Aslam family in the prior year, new proposals have been submitted to Highland Council, prompting objections from the local community.
Doubts persist among residents about the intended use of the new three-bedroom home, with fears that it could cater to the Airbnb market rather than serving as a family residence.
Objections from Locals to Highland Council
Highland Council has received objections from concerned locals, including John Nish, who expressed skepticism about the scale of the redevelopment, suggesting it might align more with an Airbnb or holiday home.
Another objection, raised by Graham Lawrie, emphasized the proposed two-story build as inconsistent with the Glen’s character, raising suspicions of a high-end holiday or Airbnb let.
National Trust for Scotland’s Stance
The National Trust for Scotland (NTS), which oversees a significant portion of Glencoe’s landscape, voiced opposition to the plans, asserting that the proposed building’s scale and contemporary design would disrupt the area’s distinct built heritage.
Clea Warner, NTS regional director for Highlands and Islands, emphasized the potential destruction of the natural beauty that defines Glen Coe.
Historical Context and Savile’s Legacy
Jimmy Savile purchased the cottage, known as Allt-na-Reigh, from renowned Scottish mountaineer Hamish MacInnes in 1998.
His history of sex abuse, revealed in 2012, prompted the sale of the property after his death in 2011.
The cottage has since changed hands, with the Aslam family now seeking to redevelop it.
Architects’ Response and Honoring MacInnes
Architects representing the Aslam family clarified that the redevelopment aims to honor Dr. Hamish MacInnes, emphasizing that outbuildings, where the climber worked on his creations, would be named Hamish House.
The proposed 3-bedroom family home is designed as a 1.75-storey dwelling with a focus on architectural design and scenic integration.
Denial of Airbnb Claims
Representatives for the Aslam family have denied claims that the new home could potentially become an Airbnb.
Despite local apprehensions, the family stresses their commitment to developing a family residence that respects the memory of Hamish MacInnes and enhances the scenic beauty of Glencoe.