Planning row over bid to demolish Highland cottage where Jimmy Savile abused up to 20 victims and turn it into tribute to mountaineering legend – as objectors say it doesn’t blend in with landscape
Plans to demolish a Highland cottage once owned by Jimmy Savile have faced objections from a group representing thousands of climbers because the new building doesn’t blend with the landscape.
Mountaineering Scotland, who have more than 15,000 members, said new designs for a luxury home in Glencoe did not fit in with the scenic surrounds.
The group also said claims the new build would restore memories of mountaineering legend Hamish MacInnes who once owned it were not ‘substantiated’.
They want to stop the demolition of the property at Allt-na-Reigh, which disgraced DJ Savile lived in from 1998 until his death in 2011.
Mountaineering Scotland have objected to the demolition of a cottage once owned by paedophile DJ Jimmy Savile because the new building doesn’t blend with landscape. Pictured: Designs for the property at Allt-na-Reigh in Glencoe
Following revelations of his prolific sex offences, the cottages has been repeatedly vandalised and had slogans sprayed on its walls.
It is believed the paedophile used the remote cottage to abuse up to 20 people.
The cottage was bought for a reported £335,000 by the family of retail tycoon, Harris Aslam, who decided they would let locals have their say on its future.
After an online consultation they said they would flatten the current cottage and replace it with a contemporary home.
Detailed plans have been submitted to Highland Council which show how the completed three-bedroomed property will look.
Following revelations of late owner Savile’s prolific sex offences, the cottages has been repeatedly vandalised and had slogans sprayed on its walls.
It is believed the paedophile used the remote cottage to abuse up to 20 people
Documents acknowledge Savile’s historic links but highlight it also had a more positive association to MacInnes.
But Mountaineering Scotland said the project ‘does not blend in with the landscape or with the style of other buildings seen along the Glen’.
The group raised further issues over claims the new plans would recognise the achievements of MacInnes.
They said: ‘The design statement merely says that there is an intention to restore the outbuilding which is of historical importance, further adding that the intent is for ‘retaining and converting the outbuilding into habitable associated accommodation’.
‘The associated elevation plans look little like the existing outbuilding making it difficlut to see how the claim of reinforcing the heritage of Hamish MacInnes is substantiated.’
They added: ‘We urge the Highland Council to refuse planning permission on grounds that the siting and design of this particular development at this specific location is inappropriate and would detract from the quality and character of the landscape in Glencoe.’
Mountaineer, writer and broadcaster Cameron McNeish previously challenged calls to bulldoze the property because of its connection to mountaineer MacInnes, saying its history should not be allowed to be overshadowed by the paedophile
Others have also previously protested the cottage’s demolition since it was first mooted in 2012.
Mountaineer, writer and broadcaster Cameron McNeish challenged the calls because of its connection to mountaineer MacInnes, saying its history should not be allowed to be overshadowed by the paedophile.
MacInnes called the property home during the 1960s and 1970s.
‘For me that house will always have associations with Hamish MacInnes, not only because Hamish is probably our greatest Scottish mountaineer,’ Mr McNeish told BBC Radio Scotland.
‘That will always be Hamish MacInnes’ house and will always have that mountaineering historical significance.
‘It would be a shame if those mountaineering memories were swept up along with the tarnished memories of Jimmy Savile.’
Mr McNeish argued the property should be retained and put to use for the local community’s benefit as a museum, mountaineering club hut or as a home.
The cottage had been repeatedly vandalised with slogans including ‘Glen Savile’ since his death aged 84.
The depraved paedophile is believed to have abused up to 20 people inside his remote lair.
The cottage sits beside the A82 Fort William to Glasgow road.
Following his death in 2011, the two-bedroom bungalow was put up for auction and bought for £212,000 by a Glasgow-based builder.
A report has already revealed asbestos was found in two pipes in an outbuilding of the cottage.
It will have to be removed before the property is knocked down.
Planners are expected to issue a decision in due course.