A billionaire oil sheikh’s bid for planning permission to build a luxury lodge on his Highland estate has again been snubbed by councillors.
After several attempts over many months, they have again refused to grant the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, permission to construct another property on his 63,000-acre Inverinate Estate in Wester Ross.
There were dozens of local objections to his proposed two-storey project despite scaling it down from nine to six bedrooms after previous discussions with Highland Council.
The redesign was, however, for a larger building than previously planned.
His revised planning application was recommended for approval by council planning officers.
But north Highland planning chairwoman Maxine Smith challenged the application on the grounds of “amenity”, namely that it would be too close – 65 feet from a neighbouring property outwith the boundary of his estate.
The estate already has a hunting lodge, holiday home and helipads.
The sheikh had stated that his family’s trips to the area had been limited by lack of accommodation.
He has six wives and twenty-three children.
Overjoyed by the committee’s decision, near neighbour Roddy Macleod, 71, who complained that the property would have invaded his privacy and spoilt the enjoyment of his home, said: “I was blown over.
“It’s a very important decision. I can’t thank the chairperson enough. She did a stalwart job.”
He added that he felt certain that the applicant would appeal the committee’s decision.
No-one from the estate could be contacted.
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country