Scotland’s oldest hotel to undergo controversial £11 million ‘industrial’ renovation

    557 322 Adam Bloodworth
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    Scotland’s oldest hotel and one of its most well-loved Highland Way pitstops, which served as a layover for walkers of the serene Glencoe since the 1750s, has had controversial plans for a modern renovation approved.

    The “industrial” new look planned for the hotel has angered some locals, although neither Highlands Council nor Mountaineering Scotland have objected to plans for the renovation.

    Managing agents Bidwell have released photos of the proposed changes, designed by Covell Matthews Architects. It shows the original 1700s hotel still in tact, but with more modern-style terraced buildings adjoined that are one storey taller than the original hotel, and four or five times the size.

    Managing agents: Hotel will be “In-keeping with the majestic environment”

    And here’s how the original, historic hotel looks now, pre-renovation, which has stood in Glencoe since the 1700s.

    Now that Highlands Council have approved the new look, Bidwells explained things from their perspective: “This is a superb result for our client who has been very focussed on providing a well thought out project which will bring employment to the area and encourage more visitors to this stunning part of Scotland.”

    Bidwells surveyor James Allan went on to insist the plans are “in-keeping with the majestic environment” as well as “sustainable”.

    “The de Spoelberch family… have always been adamant that they didn’t want to do anything that would displease the community and would not have proceeded with something that was not supported”.

    “Sustainable” plan for new project has received formal complaints

    National Trust for Scotland and John Muir Trust had previously logged a complaint against the proposed building style for being “not sympathetic to its surroundings or to the existing historic hotel building”.

    The hotel marks the adjoining point where the West Highland Way descends from the Rannoch Moor, and is a popular pit stop for walkers.

    Covell Matthew Architects, who won the bid to design the innovative new structure, say on their website that “design excellence, budget and programme control, proficient project management and the achievement of best value” are key to their work.

    A speedy renovation is forecast to take place throughout 2018 ready for the hotel‘s relaunch in 2019 | Main image shows artist’s representation of how the hotel will look

    Adam Bloodworth / 06.02.2018


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