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Locals fight Stella McCartney’s plan for a £5MILLION Highland home

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  • Fashion designer has angered locals by applying to build a glass-fronted house 



Her couture collections may have made her the darling of the fashion world. But Stella McCartney‘s designs for a £5million modernist home in the remote Highlands of Scotland have been less well received.

For the 52-year-old has applied to build a massive glass-fronted house in one of the wildest parts of Britain – to the fury of locals who have condemned it as a ‘carbuncle’.

Even though the designer – who is the daughter of vegetarian pioneer Linda McCartney and her Beatles legend husband Sir Paul – has been a lifelong advocate of animal welfare, objectors claim her plans will disturb wildlife, including nearby families of otters.

They also claim the ‘monstrous’ house could see Scots pine trees being cut down and walkers being blocked from the beach. 

Stella McCartney ‘s designs for a £5million modernist home has angered locals. Pictured, Alasdhair Willis (left) and Stella McCartney attend the launch of the Stella McCartney Global flagship store on Old Bond Street
The couple have lodged plans with Highland Council, including a design statement from architects Brown & Brown. Pictured, designs for the modernist build

McCartney and her husband Alasdhair Willis bought a plot of land on the coastline of the West Highlands around 150 miles north-west of Glasgow.

The couple have lodged plans with Highland Council, including a design statement from architects Brown & Brown stating a ‘simple materials palette’ will be used ‘with a contemporary and complementary mix of rough-cut natural Scottish stone’ as well as concrete and weathering steel.

The architects also note: ‘The applicant wishes to create a home here which is site-specific, with the setting, existing contours, aspect, and sun-path being among the key generators of the design.

‘Privacy is of prime import to the applicant, which was a chief reason they acquired the site. 

‘The secluded nature of the site would be retained, with the house being largely unseen outwith the site, and primarily only visible from the water.’

However, more than 50 objections have been lodged. One is from Highland councillor Angus MacDonald, who lives nearby and believes the couple’s new house would be out of place.

He said: ‘We would welcome them living in the area but would hope they could come up with a building suggestion more sympathetic to its location.’

One resident, who did not want to be named said: ‘It’s believed in the area that the build will cost around £5million. Stella McCartney, who makes a big thing about being green, plans to build a house that’s steel and concrete.

Highland Council has confirmed the plans are still under consideration. Designs for the interior of the build
More than 50 objections have been lodged including one from Highland councillor Angus MacDonald. Pictured, the plot of land where the house is being proposed to be built on

‘Everybody in the area was expecting something eco, maybe with a turf roof, for example, so everyone was quite surprised that’s not what has been proposed.’

Documents lodged with Highland Council show a range of complaints about the plans. Celia Woodhouse says it would be ‘disastrous’ if the ‘monstrous house’ is built.

Patrick MacDonald believes the home would be to the ‘detriment’ of the area, saying: ‘The fact that there exists a woodland of mature Scots pine trees and indeed otters on the site should be all the more reason it should be protected.’

Lady Marie-Sophie Law de Lauriston adds: ‘Non-reflective glass would be more appropriate to reduce the visual impact of the building in the evening sun.

‘Access to the beach at the east of the proposed property should be guaranteed, given the constant visitors to the beach. 

‘There is an otter holt on the knoll where the proposed house will be, and the impact on local wildlife should be considered.’

Another objector says the ‘new modern dwelling will spoil the natural beauty of this landscape and become a carbuncle on the bluff’.

Highland Council has confirmed the plans are still under consideration. McCartney has strong links to Scotland, having spent much of her childhood with her parents at the farmhouse on the Mull of Kintyre which inspired Sir Paul’s famous 1977 song.

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