Five years on from a blaze which burnt down a Perthshire hotel in the Cairngorms, campaigners are calling on developers to get a move on with work at the site.
Sunday will mark five years to the day since 50 firefighters raced to the popular hotel to extinguish a major blaze in the early hours of the morning.
Today, the dilapidated site remains uncleared, unsecured and a thorn in the side of villagers in Spittal of Glenshee.
Mount Blair Development Trust chairman Daryl Townsend said the group has been thwarted at every attempt to progress the work.
“Ever since the hotel burned down, the trust has been trying to find a solution,” he said.
“We tried to arrange a community buyout to redevelop the site, but it didn’t work out and things drifted from there.
“It’s unfenced, there are uncovered manholes and there are fuel tanks which haven’t been decommissioned. You’re taking your life in your hands if you go inside as it’s full of broken glass.
“I got quotes for clearing the site and it will cost around £150,000. The national park issued an order to tidy the site, but all they’ve done is remove the loose materials.
“There’s a hotel beside the site and holiday lodges nearby too. It’s less than a stone’s throw away for children playing outside.
“Once the site was given planning permission in principle for holiday cabins, it was put straight on the market. It’s owned by a private individual but is held by a pension investment company called Yorsipp, who acted as the applicant for getting planning permission.
“This is the gateway to the Cairngorms. People have businesses here and customers need to pass this complete and utter eyesore. It’s appalling.”
Blairgowrie and the Glens Conservative councillors Caroline Shiers and Bob Brawn are doing all they can to breathe new life into the site but may have to settle for short-term measures to hide the building until it is restored.
Ms Shiers said: “I have become increasingly concerned that we’re well into yet another tourism season with this absolute eyesore sitting alongside the A93 tourist route between Blairgowrie and Braemar.
“Spittal is arguably one of the most dramatically beautiful locations in Perth and Kinross, yet there’s been no effort made by the owners of the site to clear it or screen it from the A93 or the minor road that leads into the Spittal.
“I’m now contacting council officers to see if some form of screening can be erected.
“I am aware that planning permission has been granted. However, if this site was in the middle of Perth or Aviemore then I am sure there would be more pressure being put on the owners to address the safety and visual impact of the buildings.”
Councillor Bob Brawn added: “The site leaves much to be desired and has become an eyesore to resident and visitor alike.
“With much debris and broken glass, there is a growing safety issue as remaining structures fall into further disrepair.”
Yorsipp did not respond to a request for comment.