And finally… out of fashion

And finally... out of fashion

Image by Brown & Brown Architects

Highland Council has received more than 50 objections to a proposal by fashion designer Stella McCartney to build a seafront house close to Mallaig.

The 52-year-old daughter of Beatles legend Paul McCartney is looking to erect a coastal property at Glenuig at Commando Rock, south of Arisaig.

In a planning application, McCartney’s architects say the glass-fronted home would enhance the landscape and “retain the wild nature of the site”.

However, many local people have expressed their alarm about the potential disturbance of otters, the proposed felling of Scots pines, and the prevention of access to a local beach.

Highland Council have received more than 50 public objections to the plans, which were submitted in the name of McCartney’s husband, Alasdhair Willis.

Local residents Dr Peter & Mrs Jean Langhorne said: “We live on the west side of this beautiful unspoiled bay and enjoy the beach on a daily basis, as do many other residents and visitors to Roshven.

“My main objection is the plan to build a large elongated building, with an ancillary wing in a conspicuous position overlooking the beach.

“Since the plans feature a number of large windows, facing west, this will result in obvious and unsightly glare, as they will reflect the afternoon and evening sun, making the house even more visible from the beach and the sea.

“Since the plan also includes the removal of a number of mature Scots Pine tree on the site, the building would be even more visible from the neighbouring coast and from the sea.

“Since the sea loch is used and enjoyed daily by locals and visitors to this area, this represents a significant loss of amenity in this National Scenic area and will affect everyone who lives in and visits Roshven.”

Sam Seccombe, one of the objectors, said: “It would set a bad precedent, that anyone with enough money could buy up unspoilt and extremely beautiful land and then build enormous dwellings that would likely remain unused for most of the year.”

Another objector, Kevin Hewkin from nearby Lochailort, wrote: “The removal of some of the existing Scots pines is an outrageous suggestion. The whole country is in a process of trying to get these magnificent, natural trees to regenerate, yet here the application wants to go against this initiative.”

Local LibDem councillor Angus MacDonald said in his objection: “If one-third are removed it would increase the chance of windblow on the remainder.”

In a design statement for the house, McCartney’s architects, Brown and Brown, said: “Privacy is of prime import to the applicant, which was a chief reason why they acquired the site.”

The design statement said McCartney and Willis “wish to create a home which sits comfortably within the wider area, whilst also creating a contemporary house which could be largely heated by passive solar gain and which utilises appropriate renewables”.

It says the house would be built from “rough cut natural Scottish stone, forming a complementary language with areas of dark grey board marked concrete and a section of Corten weathering steel of an ochre colour, which would pick up the colours of the landscape”.

It would also have a planted roof seeded with grasses and heather.

The council’s planning committee is expected to discuss the application in the coming months.

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