- Disgraced former DJ’s Highland home has lain empty since his death in 2011
- New owner Harris Aslam wants to tear it down and create a memorial to mountaineering legend Hamish MacInnes
A tycoon has vowed to demolish a Highland cottage once owned by Jimmy Savile and create a monument to Scots mountaineer Hamish MacInnes.
Savile lived in the property at Allt-na-Reigh in Glencoe from 1998 until his death in 2011.
The cottage was bought by retail tycoon Harris Aslam, the director of Fife-based Scottish convenience store operator Eros Retail, who decided to let locals have their say on the future of the property.
Plans submitted in 2021 sparked protest from objectors who said they did not fit in with the scenic landscape.
The plans have been scrapped and new proposals submitted by Mr Aslam and his family.
Savile lived in the property until his death in 2011, pictured here in 1998, when he bought the cottage
Mr Aslam has revealed he still plans to demolish the cottage but has vowed a replacement will be ‘sympathetic’ to the surroundings following feedback.
He intends to call the outbuilding of the site ‘Hamish House’ after mountaineer MacInnes.
MacInnes created the ‘Pterodactyl’ ice-axe and the eponymous MacInnes stretcher, used by mountain rescue teams worldwide, on the site.
Legendary mountaineer Hamish MacInnes would be honoured at the new building
It is hoped work would begin on the site next year and a commemorative plaque would be installed to honour the achievements of MacInnes.
Mr Aslam said: ‘We are pleased to have submitted a revised planning application to Highland Council for the demolition of the existing cottage and replacement with an alternative residence sympathetic to the prestigious surroundings.
‘The proposed design takes into account feedback from several consultations held with engaged stakeholders including Mountaineering Scotland, National Trust for Scotland, Highland Council and most importantly, the local community.
‘This really is an incredibly exclusive property and presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to develop something we can all be very proud of as adorers of the Glencoe valley and as proud Scots.’
He added: ‘We often forget the truly life-changing inventions which mountaineering legend Hamish MacInnes created in the outbuilding on site including the ‘Pterodactyl’ ice-axe and the eponymous MacInnes stretcher used by mountain rescue teams worldwide.
The Glencoe cottage has been empty since 2011 when Savile died
‘Accordingly, intending to pay homage to Hamish, it gives us great pride to propose the outbuilding to be named Hamish House along with a commemorative plaque to be installed on-site to honour these great achievements.
‘This has been a challenging project over the last few months and years, though we appreciate a pre-application position reached with Highland Council whereby they are welcoming the revised proposals and we are hopeful this will lead to a positive outcome for all with a view to commencing works on site in spring 2024.’
During an earlier consultation Aslam, together with his cousin and business partner Raza Rehman, had considered renovating the existing building, which would have been the ‘easiest and cheapest option’.
Harris Aslam, who now owns the property, wants to pull the cottage down
However, in a bid to rid the association with the reviled former occupant, it was decided the building must be torn down.
The cottage sits beside the A82 Fort William to Glasgow road but has been repeatedly vandalised with slogans over the years since Savile’s death.
Following his death in 2011, the two-bedroom bungalow was put up for auction and bought for £212,000 by a Glasgow-based builder.
It was sold in 2021 for £335,500.
Highland Council confirmed they are processing a new application.