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Roofless Highland mill to serve as a community hall

February 3 2023

Roofless Highland mill to serve as a community hall

A ruinous mill in the Highland village of Balmacara is to be brought back to life as a community hall under plans by MacLean Architecture and Conservation (MAAC).

Following a prolonged period of disuse, the roof collapsed in 2020, leaving stonework in a precarious position.

A phased programme of improvements led by Balmacara Community Trust will remedy this, beginning with the reinstatement of the roof to closely match the original.

As part of this process window openings are to be reinstated and the creation of a new main entrance. Subsequent works will include the construction of an escape stair and accessible toilets in a purpose-built extension as part of a full internal fit-out.

In a planning statement, MAAC wrote: "The design is complimentary to the industrial heritage of the structure, but has been given a contemporary style so that it can be interpreted as a modern addition that is distinct to the historic fabric.

"The roof of the new structure has been designed to be visually subordinate to the main roof structure. It utilises a metal standing seam cladding that makes a visual reference to the industrial and agricultural buildings of the rural highlands. The Walls are clad in stone to compliment the existing building, but opening shave been given a contemporary style to maintain a distinct visual character."

Part of a B-listed farm steading on the shores of Loch Alsh the property dates from the early nineteenth century and is representative of the model farm movement of that era. 

A new front entrance is proposed as part of the works
A new front entrance is proposed as part of the works

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