Highlands & Islands

Ruler of Dubai in planning row over Inverinate Estate

Roddy Macleod in his garden and graphic impression of how new lodge may look
Image caption Roddy Macleod fears his bungalow will be overshadowed by a planned new two-storey lodge (above is a graphic impression of how it may look)

The billionaire ruler of Dubai's proposals to build a lodge on his Highlands estate have drawn objections from people living near the site.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum owns Inverinate Estate and its existing properties in Kyle of Lochalsh.

The new nine-bedroom building is needed to accommodate large groups of immediate and extended family and friends, according to planning papers.

But the plans have brought more than 10 written local objections.

'Sympathetic design'

Concerns have been raised about the large two-storey lodge overshadowing a bungalow about 20 metres from the site, close to the shores of Loch Duich.

Objectors argue that there is plenty of land elsewhere on the estate, which already has a large country house and a 14-bedroom holiday home serviced by three helicopter pads, for the development.

Two other new properties are being built on the estate.

The estate had withdrawn a previous application for the new lodge, before resubmitting the plans with the site moved further away from the bungalow.

The sheikh's agents have declined to comment on the planning row.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum owns Inverinate Estate in Kyle of Lochalsh

Documents attached to the application for full planning permission submitted to Highland Council say the lodge would be of a design and construction "sympathetic" to the local area.

The bungalow close to the proposed site has been Roddy Macleod's family home for more than three decades.

'A buzz'

Mr Macleod told BBC Scotland his home would be overlooked by 18 windows

He said: "It's a monstrosity that's going to spoil the area completely, and it will certainly kick the hell out of my house.

"Behind me here is a vast estate. To build this house right up against mine is completely out of context with every other building in the area."

Mr Macleod added: "I am not going to be squeezed out. This has been my home for 35 years and I am not going to go for them."

Image caption Roddy Macleod has raised his objections with Highland Council

Loch Duich Community Council has raised an objection to the plans.

Chairman Donald Macintosh said the sheikh and his family were popular visitors who contributed to the area and generated local employment, but he added that there were concerns about the location of the planned lodge.

He said: "It is great to work with him and it is quite exciting when they come and it gives the whole area a buzz.

"It's great when they visit, it is just this particular development seems to be just too close to Mr Macleod's property."

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