The body that represents Scottish mountaineers has opposed plans to demolish a Highland cottage once owned by prolific sex offender Jimmy Savile and replace it with a ‘futuristic’ res house.
Savile lived at the Allt-na-Reigh property in Glencoe from 1998 until his death in 2011. It has been vandalized with slogans on several occasions over the years since his death.
The disgraced DJ is believed to have abused up to 20 people at his secluded hideout tucked away in the Highlands.
The chalet sits beside the A82 Fort William road in Glasgow and was also once the home of mountaineering legend Hamish MacInnes, who founded mountain rescue teams, invented the MacInnes stretcher – which is used for rescues around the world – and also designed the first all-metal ice. chopped.
After the TV personality passed away in 2011, the two-bedroom bungalow was put up for auction.
It was bought for £212,000 with the buyer intending to live there. However, it has since been purchased by the family of retail magnate Harris Aslam, who want to replace it with a distinctive modern home.
But Mountaineering Scotland, which has more than 15,000 members, opposed the proposal to the Highland Council.
“The chalet features one of Scotland’s iconic views, the view of the Three Sisters of Glencoe from the A82 heading west,” said Mountaineering Scotland. “Having reviewed the artist’s impressions of the new design which were submitted with the planning application, Mountaineering Scotland has concerns about what is on offer.
“The concept of rebuilding a chalet there is good, because there has been a chalet here for many years.
“What we question is the design which seems to raise the building above the edge of the road, making it look proud in the landscape.
“This has the effect of drawing the eye to the structure itself and away from the scenic landscape, seeming to impose the building on the landscape, rather than in the landscape as the plans suggest. It is in an area National Scenic Area, a designation that recognizes that the scenery here is up there with the best that Scotland has to offer.
There was a community consultation on these plans in September which Mountaineering Scotland CEO Stuart Younie attended.
The conclusion was that there was no problem with renovating a chalet on the existing development footprint or the principle of demolishing the existing chalet to allow it to be replaced by new construction. Several others have objected, including a couple who described the proposed accommodation as a “grand futuristic building” and the Glencoe and Glen Etive Community Council also have concerns.
But NatureScot wrote: “There are internationally important natural heritage interests on the site, but our view is that they will not be affected by the proposal.”
Mr Aslam, who is in his 20s, is a director of Scottish convenience store operator Eros Retail, based in Fife, part of the Glenshire family business group. Together with his cousin and business partner Raza Rehman – and other family members – they bought the property from an Edinburgh builder for £335,000. He said they wanted to make it a family home with its “beautiful location”.
During a question-and-answer session with about twenty people, it was clarified that if MM. Aslam and Rehman had considered renovating the existing main building, which would be the easiest and cheapest option, it was concluded that this was not viable if they wanted to rid the site of its association with Savile.
“Yes, the property has a dark history – but only for a certain period. I think we can make something really positive out of it,” Mr. Aslam said.
Over the years, the chalet had several slogans plastered on its walls – which had been whitewashed years earlier in an effort to deter vandals.
The word “paedo” was daubed on the side of the hillside house. Among the previous slogans was scrawled “Jimmy the Beast”.
Savile first saw the chalet while on a cycling holiday in 1944. The disgraced DJ once entertained Prince Charles during a dinner at the chalet and he was featured in the famous Louis Theroux documentary When Louis Met Jimmy .
He became a regular in the village of Glencoe, with locals saying he was an “attention seeker” who walked around in a Highland kilt waving at passing tourists.
A local man described how he asked for the DJ’s autograph and instead received a bizarre message from him saying ‘lost girls’ should pay him a visit.