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Plans to extend one of the most historic hotels in the Highlands – Glen Coe’s iconic Kings House – have been condemned by Mountaineering Scotland

The Kings House Hotel stands at the gateway of Glen Coe, marking the point where the West Highland Way comes down from Rannoch Moor. It’s thought to be one of Scotland’s oldest licensed inns, and was originally built in the 17th century before playing a role in the aftermath of the 1745 Jacobite rebellion.

Today, it’s a well-known landmark on the West Highland Way and a renowned watering hole for outdoor enthusiasts in Glen Coe.

But a major extension described as an ‘industrial-style building which will dwarf the original’ has been condemned by Mountaineering Scotland.

They argue the planned extension would be completely out of character, both with the original historic building and the surrounding landscape – part of a much-loved National Scenic Area.

Black Corries Estate Management Ltd propose a large, three-storey extension to the original two-storey hotel after demolishing existing extensions dating back to the 1960s.

David Gibson, Chief Executive Officer for Mountaineering Scotland, 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.

“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.”

Mr Gibson concluded: “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.”

Objections to the application have also been submitted by the National Trust for Scotland and the John Muir Trust.

The current planning application for the Kings House – 17/03703/FUL – can be viewed on the Highland Council website. The 2016 application previously granted was 16/00501/FUL.

Mountaineering Scotland’s full objection can be viewed here.

Header image © Jamesfcarter – own work, CC BY-SA 3.0