Fife businessman set to demolish Jimmy Savile’s trashed Highland cottage

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A Fife man has been given the green light to demolish the Highland holiday home of notorious paedophile Jimmy Savile - and replace it with a new family home.

The cottage, Allt-na-Reigh in Glencoe, has been repeatedly targeted by vandals and covered in graffiti since the BBC broadcaster was unmasked as one of the most appalling sex offenders in the UK following his death. Now Highland Council has approved a planning application from Mr Harris Aslam, who runs the Kirkcaldy-based Greens Retail which has convenience stores across Scotland.

It was his second bid to demolish the cottage - one of only six houses along a 10-mile stretch of the A82 through Glen Coe - where Savile stayed for many years. In 2021, plans lodged by Glencoe Cottage Ltd were dismissed as not fitting the landscape, but planning councillors rubber-stamped a revised blueprint at a meeting this week.

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The applicant can now demolish the eyesore and replace it with a four-bedroom home which will also honour a previous occupant, the late Dr Hamish MacInnes, a highly respected mountaineer, with an outbuilding where he once worked redeveloped and named Hamish House.

Slogans painted on Alt-na-reigh, the cottage formerly owned by Jimmy Savile  (Pic: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)Slogans painted on Alt-na-reigh, the cottage formerly owned by Jimmy Savile  (Pic: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Slogans painted on Alt-na-reigh, the cottage formerly owned by Jimmy Savile (Pic: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The decision by councillors marks the beginning of the end of Savile’s name being associated with the area where he was a regular visitor. A report to the committee made no mention of him by name, but stated: “The property has been subject to vandalism and graffiti directed towards a former owner/occupier and is now in a very poor state. Aside from the negativity arising from the former owner/occupier, there are also very positive local associations to the property relating to the respected mountaineer who once owned the property.”

Glencoe and Glen Etive Community Council had no objection to the demolition and asked that “action be taken as soon as possible to demolish the existing building which has been repeatedly damaged by acts of vandalism and is now a risk to health and safety.”

Councillors approved the plans with the standard condition that work must commence within three years.

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