Developers seek views for Ballachulish peninsula and withdraw holiday scheme

The peninsula in question can be seen jutting out into Loch Leven to the left beside the village. Photograph: Highland Council

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A consultation meeting and workshop are be held this Sunday (January 26) to gather Ballachulish community’s view on what people want to do with the Ballachulish peninsula, after a proposal to develop holiday accommodation was dropped.

Earlier this month, a public meeting, chaired by the Ballachulish community council, showed that the community was against putting 48 luxury lodges on the peninsula.

Following that meeting the developers, Crieff Hydro and Ossian Developments – which own different parts of the peninsula – withdrew the scheme.

This map shows the withdrawn proposal for holiday properties across all parts of the peninsula. Photograph: Laurence Young

They are now looking for ideas to regenerate the peninsula, with key points of interest being the harbours, boat sheds, loch frontage and the main land area.

Cluster general manager for Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels, Patrick Diack said: ‘We want this community to share with us the thoughts, hopes and concerns about any potential development of the peninsula areas.’

The predominant feeling from the public meeting on January 7 was for the peninsula to be left as it is, however some ideas were raised around improving the boat sheds, adding a museum facility to tell the story of Ballachulish’s slate quarry history, or even just making a cycle path and adding some benches.

At the earlier public meeting, chairman of Ballachulish Community Council, Kevin Smith, was  sceptical of the feasibility of the development, raising practical questions around plumbing and necessity.

He has now said the area would be the easiest to develop in future should any ideas arise.

He said: ‘If you access the WHLDP [West Highlands and Islands Local Development Plan available HERE] adopted plan, the designated area zoned for development, shown as BH07, is the preferred area for Commercial / Tourism development. That does not mean other areas cannot be looked at but could prove more onerous to gain planning from my understanding.’

The area Kevin Smith refers to can be seen at the top of this map of Ballachulish village. Photograph: Highland Council

The workshop will be led by Jimmy Denholm, principal of The Denholm Partnership, which drew up the original plans for the luxury accommodation.

All local residents are being invited to attend the meeting at Ballachulish Village Hall this Sunday starting at 4pm.

Key points from the meeting will be drawn together into a short paper and circulated to everyone.