The Kings House Hotel. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Kings House Hotel. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Outdoor groups have objected to plans for a large three-storey extension to the Kings House Hotel at the head of Glen Coe.

The hostelry, in the shadow of Buachaille Etive Mòr, has long been a favourite of climbers and walkers, but Mountaineering Scotland said the proposed ‘industrial-style’ building is out of keeping with the location.

The John Muir Trust and the National Trust for Scotland have also lodged objections to the plans by Black Corries Estate Management.

Mountaineering Scotland said the hotel on Rannoch Moor has long been a favourite of mountaineers, dating back to the pioneering climbers in the first half of the last century.

The organisation, which represents mountaineers, hillwalkers and climbers north of the border, wants to call time on the plans. It argues the extension would be completely out of character both with the original building and the surrounding landscape, which is part of a national scenic area.

The large three-storey extension to the original two-story hotel would mean demolishing existing extensions which date back to the 1960s.

Mountaineering Scotland chief executive David Gibson said: “The Kings House Hotel is located in a part of the national scenic area which is recognised for its unique and unrivalled natural heritage, but the proposed development appears as an industrial-style building. It is not sympathetic to its surroundings or to the existing historic hotel building.”

The body did not object to an application for a smaller building, which received consent last year,

Glen Coe and  Buachaille Etive Mòr. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Glen Coe and Buachaille Etive Mòr. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Mr Gibson said: “Scottish mountaineering, and many of our members, have a long association with the Kings House and we recognise its value as an amenity. We did not object to the original planning application made in 2016 – which was granted by Highland Council – because we felt it was more in keeping with both the original building and the landscape.

“But this new application is arguably no different to hotel buildings found in large cities and certainly does not ‘respect, enhance or make responsible use of our natural assets’ as required by the national planning framework.”

“Mountaineering Scotland is not against the appropriate development of the Kings House and would support a well designed extension as proposed in the 2016 application, but the new proposal is most certainly not well designed or in keeping with its surroundings and we object to it.”

The National Trust for Scotland said the national scenic area description for Glen Coe calls it one of the most spectacular scenic experiences in Scotland and development needs careful handling.

It added that the extension would dwarf the historically significant existing building.

The John Muir Trust said the new building was incongruous and would ‘stick out like a sore thumb’.

The Kings House Hotel stands at the side of Scotland’s most popular long-distance trail, the West Highland Way.

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