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Council stalls on plan to bulldoze Jimmy Savile's Highlands lair

Council stalls on plan to bulldoze Jimmy Savile’s Highlands lair where celebrity BBC paedophile abused 20 victims and replace it with futuristic new-build

  • Savile lived at Allt-na-Reigh in Glencoe from 1998 until his death in 2011 aged 84
  • Cottage has been repeatedly vandalised following revelations of his sex abuse 
  • Family of retail tycoon Harris Aslam plan to flatten it and build a futuristic home 
  • Mountaineering Scotland said new design doesn’t fit in with ‘scenic’ landscape

A Scottish council have stalled on their plan to bulldoze Jimmy Savile’s Highlands lair  – where the celebrity BBC paedophile is believed to have abused 20 victims – and replace it with a futuristic new-build. 

Jimmy Savile lived in the remote cottage at Allt-na-Reigh in Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands from 1998 until his death aged 84 in 2011. 

The cottage was bought for a reported £335,000 by the family of retail tycoon Harris Aslam – with plans to flatten the current cottage and replace it with a futuristic new-build ‘family home’. 

‘Yes the property does have a dark history – but only for a certain period. I think we can do something really positive with it,’ said Mr Aslam. 

Jimmy Savile lived in the remote cottage at Allt-na-Reigh in Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands from 1998 until his death aged 84 in 2011

But the plans have met with controversy, with mountaineering groups arguing that the design doesn’t fit in with the ‘scenic landscape’ of the Scottish Highlands. 

Highland Council shelved the application in January but there is still no sign of a decision nine months later. 

A council spokesperson said ‘The application is still live and is going through the planning process.

‘We are unable to provide any further details or timescales at this stage.’

The family of retail tycoon Harris Aslam plans to flatten the current cottage and replace it with a futuristic new-build ‘family home’

The disgraced DJ and radio presenter is believed to to have abused up to 20 young women, girls and boys at the cottage. 

He once entertained King Charles over dinner and it was featured in notorious Louis Theroux documentary When Louis Met Jimmy. 

It has been repeatedly vandalised following revelations in 2012 of his prolific sex abuse, as the cottage’s white walls have been painted with ‘Paedo’ and ‘Jimmy the Beast’.  

Mountaineering Scotland, which has over 15,000 members, is frustrated at the delay to the council’s decision and objects to the plans. 

The mountaineering group said: ‘The concept of rebuilding a cottage at this location is fine, as there has been a cottage here for many years.

‘What we are questioning is the design. This has the effect of drawing the eye to the structure itself and away from the scenic landscape, seeming to impose the building on the landscape, rather than within the landscape as the plans suggest.

The disgraced DJ and radio presenter is believed to to have abused up to 20 young women, girls and boys at the cottage

‘This is in a National Scenic Area, a designation that acknowledges that the landscape here is up there with the best that Scotland has to offer.’

They added that residents had lodged objections since the planning application. 

In the 1960s and 70s the property was also home to mountaineering legend Hamish MacInnes. 

He founded mountain rescue teams, invented the MacInnes stretcher – used for rescues worldwide – and designed the first all-metal ice axe. 

Mountaineering Scotland said the restorations would also destroy MacInnes’ ‘positive effect’ on the land and his ‘historical importance’.  

Mountaineer, writer and broadcaster Cameron McNeish said he did not want the cottage bulldozed and that its links to Hamish MacInnes should not be over-shadowed by the paedophile.

Following revelations of late owner Savile’s prolific sex offences, the cottages has been repeatedly vandalised and had slogans sprayed on its walls.

Mr McNeish said ‘For me that house will always have associations with Hamish MacInnes, not only because Hamish is probably our greatest Scottish mountaineer.

‘That will always be Hamish MacInnes’ house and will always have that mountaineering historical significance.

‘It would be a shame if those mountaineering memories were swept up along with the tarnished memories of Jimmy Savile.’

Mr McNeish argued the cottage should be retained and put to use for the local community’s benefit as a museum, mountaineering club hut or as a home.

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