The Scottish Council has met more than 50 objections to plans for Stella McCartney’s home
The daughter of Beatles legend Paul McCartney, 52, is eyeing a coastal property at Glenuig in Commando Rock, south of Arisaig.
In the planning application, McCartney Architects say the glass-fronted house will enhance the landscape and “retain the wild nature of the site”.
However, many local residents expressed concern about the potential disturbance of otters, the proposed felling of Scots pine trees, and the blocking of access to the local beach.
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Highland Council received more than 50 public objections to the plans, which were submitted in the name of McCartney’s husband, Alasdair Willis.
Sam Seacombe, one of the objectors, said: “It would set a bad precedent, as anyone with enough money could buy very beautiful, unspoiled land and then build massive housing that is likely to remain unused for most of the year.”
Many objected to the proposed felling of five of the 15 mature Scots pines to make way for the new house.
Objector Kevin Hewkin from Lochailort wrote: “Removing some of the existing Scots pines is an outrageous proposition.
“The whole country is trying to revive these wonderful natural trees, but the application here wants to go against this initiative.”
Local Liberal councilor Angus McDonald said in his objection: “If a third were removed it would increase the chance of wind blowing over the rest.”
In a design statement for the home, McCartney’s architects, Brown & Brown, said: “Privacy is of the utmost importance to the applicant, which was the main reason they were awarded the site.”
However, Highland Council’s environmental health officer said the site’s “perceived privacy” was “contrary to its history of public access”.
The council recommended that an “access management statement” be prepared on how the local bay would be accessed if the plan went ahead.
McCartney and Willis “wanted to create a home that would sit comfortably within the wider area, while also creating a contemporary home that could be heated largely by passive solar gain and which used appropriate renewable energy sources,” the design statement says.
She says the house will be built from “natural cut Scottish stone, forming a complementary language with areas of dark gray panels highlighted by the concrete and an ochre-coloured stainless steel partition, which will pick up the colors of the landscape”.
It will also have a roof planted with grasses and heather.
The Council’s Planning Committee is expected to discuss this request in the coming months.