STAGECOACH tycoon Ann Gloag has won a battle to expand her property empire by building a new house on land near her castle.
The businesswoman has been given permission for another new build home near Kinfauns Castle in Perth.
Last year Mrs Gloag, one of Scotland’s richest women, was given the go-ahead for a six-bedroomed mansion and a three-bedroomed house on the grounds of her estate. She was initially refused permission to build the latest property on land after objections were raised by locals and the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland (AHSS).
Perth and Kinross council ruled that the site, which overlooks the River Tay, was of great landscape value and could not be built on.
The Scottish Government overturned the decision but planning permission expired meaning Mrs Gloag, 70, had to again ask the council to approve her plans.
The local authority have now given the scheme the green light despite it being contrary to its local development plan.
In a report, planning officials said: “This site is well contained by housing on its east and west sides.
“Clearly the design and scale of the house will be a key consideration, however this can be considered at the detailed planning stage.
“A suitably designed dwelling would have little adverse impact on the landscape character of the area of great landscape value (AGLV) nor would development of this site result in a significant adverse visual impact.
“I fully appreciate that the council have refused planning applications within the AGLV over the years, and have been extremely successful in defending related appeals.
“However the majority of these have been on isolated sites with a lack of landscape framework. I share the Scottish Government Reporter’s contention that the site is not prominent.”
Mrs Gloag’s property agents Ristol said the house would be a “high quality design” and would respect the existing character and layout of the area.
Local farmer Stephen White wrote to the council to point out he had a right of access to part of the land Mrs Gloag wishes to build on to enable him to farm a nearby field.
However, officials told him that it was not a factor in determining the application and told him he would have to resolve the issue with Mrs Gloag.
The AHSS had previously voiced fears that the house would set a dangerous precedent and pave the way for more developments in the area.
The two homes Mrs Gloag applied to build last year also attracted criticism. Foresty Commission Scotland warned the buildings would ruin an area of ancient woodland and neighbours objected to the proposal, claiming it would spoil the privacy and seclusion they currently enjoy and cause a drop in property values in the area.
Mrs Gloag, who has an estimated £650 million fortune with her brother Sir Brian Souter, won the right to restrict access to her property in 2007.
The case, the first of its kind, allows her to keep the public out of 10 acres of grounds.
Although she remains a non-executive director of the transport empire she built with her brother, Mrs Gloag now devotes much of her business acumen towards humanitarian causes.
In the 2004 New Year’s Honours list she was awarded an OBE for her charity work. And in 2011 she became the first Scot to be honoured with a prestigious international award in recognition of her charity work.
The former nurse received the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal, whose previous honorees include US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Queen Noor of Jordan.
A spokeswoman for Mrs Gloag said she did not wish to comment on her house plans.