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Kings House Hotel owners express ‘disappointment’ at planning objectors

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November 6 2017

Kings House Hotel owners express ‘disappointment’ at planning objectors
Owners of the Kings House Hotel have expressed ‘disappointment’ at a slew of negative criticism directed at their plan to significantly expand the property, warning that opposition risks delaying investment.

Speaking on behalf of Charles Adriaenssen, one of the hotel owners, surveyor James Allan of managing agents Bidwells wrote: “The family, who have owned property in the area for well over 50 years, is ready to invest more than £10 million into the rebuilding of the landmark Kings House Hotel to convert it into a place where visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful environment. 

“Considering that a basic renovation of the existing hotel would have been impossible and unsatisfactory because of the very bad condition of the building, poor layout and substandard facilities, a new building was the only valid option. Over recent years, the King's House Hotel was not well known for its comfort, food offering or overall customer rating.”

Covell Matthews Architects were commissioned to radically overhaul the popular tourist haunt by simultaneously restoring the original 18th century building while demolishing later extensions to make way for a 60-bed annex complete with its own restaurant and function room.

Practice director Andrew McNair commented: “The proposed design, which retains the original two-storey building, addresses the main road and was developed in response to the stunning views, especially towards Buachaille Etive Mor, one of the most photographed scenes in the country. The plan follows the line of the adjacent river and the design draws reference from the surrounding environment, for example a mountain range is reflected the roof profile. The building will incorporate traditional materials - slate on the roof, timber cladding on the upper walls and stone on the ground floor walls.”

To mitigate visual impact a series of terraces, lochs and soft landscaping will be introduced to improve the attractiveness of the immediate vicinity.

6 Comments

Tom Weir
#1 Posted by Tom Weir on 6 Nov 2017 at 16:33 PM
How many of these armchair objectors have actually been to the Kings House over recent years? If they had they would know that the place is/was in rack & ruin (possibly because not enough people used it - walkers expect a high standard nowadays) and they would also know that the settlement around it comprises an assortment of shacks, bunkhouses, 70s kit houses etc. Unspoilt it is not.

The proposed development may not be Brigadoon, but a bit of healthy investment to boost this little run-down pocket of Glencoe is surely to be welcomed.
Fush And Chups
#2 Posted by Fush And Chups on 6 Nov 2017 at 19:05 PM
I have to agree with Tom Weir. The property is in dire need of investment. Perhaps the design could be revisited, but the principle behind the application is sound.
Matt
#3 Posted by Matt on 6 Nov 2017 at 19:23 PM
The roof profile has zero relationship with the landscape.....it’s just a mediocre pitch roof, with a much too heavy eaves detail as shown. I would expect this rationale from a first year architecture student.
The massing clearly, as demonstrated in the above image, detracts from/ screens the landscape far too much and the comedy value of the photoshopped Stag is embarrassing.
I agree with most of the comments above, however the site and brief demand far greater skills than demonstrated here.
Gandalf the Pink
#4 Posted by Gandalf the Pink on 6 Nov 2017 at 21:20 PM
I often find it confusing what people believe wild land to be. As they drive along the A82 trunk road behind the CityLink Fort William to Glasgow and a McFadyens HGV looking out across managed moorland and think 'wow, I really am in the wild'...

Not the best design but it's not offensive. Sadly not being offensive is the top end of the standard in today's world. It's not necessarily the fault of the architect.

Get it built.
Hamish MacInnes
#5 Posted by Hamish MacInnes on 7 Nov 2017 at 08:08 AM
#3 - "the comedy value of the photoshopped stag is embarrassing" - to be fair to the agents Matt, there are normally massive stags and deer standing/sitting around the hotel. The place is well known for it - the stags are well fed by tourists and the adjacent householders. You should go there (or put 'Kingshouse Stags' into Google Images).
Tom Weir
#6 Posted by Tom Weir on 30 Jan 2018 at 16:48 PM
This planning application was approved today by The Highland Council planning committee. Councillors spoke about the benefits to the local economy and employment, and made mention of the fact that pretty much all the negative representations were from outside Lochaber.
Fair play to them for not being swayed by the armchair objectors who fail to understand how fragile Highland economies can be, and whose orchestrated 'save the wild land' campaign demonstrated that none of them had recently been to the bombsite that is the Kings House quarter.
Preserving Highland decay for the benefit of occasional forays from the New Town may appeal to some, but it doesn’t keep the schools open. Good decision.

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