Climbers could lose a historic Scottish mountaineering hut as a London-based developer proposes a new hydro-electric scheme.
The former roadmen’s hut is in Glen Etive, the location for the wild moorland scenes in the James Bond film Skyfall.
It was bought by Dundee-based Grampian Club in 1961 and purchased together with its grounds in 1991.
Now the club says the ex-road mender’s lodging, Inbhirfhaolain, will be made uninhabitable due to a hydro power scheme that would result in its sole water supply becoming unfit for human consumption.
The water supply is from the nearby Allt Fhaolain burn at a designated collection point, a feature that appeals to many who favour a simple approach to enjoying the mountain environment.
The hut is hired out at a £6 per person a night and has attracted occupancy of more than 4,500 bed nights over the last seven years, providing a significant boost to the local economy.
Grampian Club spokesman David Gibson said: “The proposed scheme is a direct threat to this unique, low-cost accommodation which will be uninhabitable if the scheme goes ahead.
“Neither the developer nor its contractors have contacted the club nor have they made any assessment of impacts on occupancy resulting from changes to the water supply.
“They have not considered the broader issues arising from the scheme, which would affect the amenity of the hut, which has provided low-cost accommodation for climbers and hillwalkers in Glen Etive for almost 60 years.
“If this scheme goes ahead, it is obvious that people will no longer be able to use the accommodation and our members stand to lose the value of the property and its income, which is in any case reinvested in the property. The property may well be a write-off.”
As well as the issue with the water supply, the club says the proposed location is a secluded glen where any noise is noticeable, especially a constant mechanical noise, and even more so in the evenings, a time of day when hut occupancy is at its peak.
Noise from the turbines will “detract considerably” from the amenity and enjoyment of visitors to the hut, the club says in its objection, leading to a decline in occupancy and income as the deterioration in the hut’s established reputation and amenity become widely known.
It says the visual impact of the power house, associated facilities and the hard standing will be that of “an industrial facility”, one in view from the hut and the Glen Etive road, just 100 metres from the hut, and totally unsuited to its surroundings.
The consultation closes on Friday.