The new owner of Jimmy Savile’s Highland cottage has outlined his intention to create a family home and make a break from its “unfortunate history”.
Glasgow builder Michael Canny bought Allt na Reigh in Glencoe at an auction this year for a reported £212,000. In a planning application to install a water supply to the cottage, he states how he wishes to “detach the property and ourselves” from its history and make it “more hospitable for family use”.
The property has been the target of vandalism since the disgraced broadcaster’s child sex abuse crimes were exposed – although no victims have said any of the abuse took place at his Highland house.
Many locals had called for the cottage, sited next to the A82 Fort William to Glasgow road, to be demolished. But Mr Canny has indicated that he wants to renovate the home and make it habitable for a family of two adults and two children.
He has lodged plans to install a £15,000 water supply to the two-bedroom property, which would require a borehole and pump.
In a supporting letter to Highland Council planners, he said: “In the long term, we propose to use the property as a family residence (two children and two adults) – at present the property could not sustain this.
“The property has some unfortunate history attached to this and we would hope to detach the property and ourselves from this.
“In the future, we would hope to seek planning permission to alter the property, with respect to the immediate landscape, but to make it more hospitable for family use and to remove the ‘media image’ that has become recognisable nationally.
“If this were granted, the borehole would be situated so that it could be easily incorporated into a utility room within the property, should future planning permission be granted.
“The proposal presently suggests that the borehole be sunk in the garden/parking area beside the house so it will not impinge on the surrounding landscape in any way.”
Savile was uncovered as one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders following his death two years ago.
After the revelations, the cottage was was the target of vandals in the aftermath of the revelations with “Jimmy the Beast” spray-painted across the walls.
It was the former home of renowned mountaineer Hamish MacInnes, who set up the Glencoe Mountain Rescue team in 1961 and inspired the creation of others around the country.
The cottage was sold in May at an auction by Ross Harper Property Auctions in Glasgow.
Previous plans to turn the property into a respite care centre for disabled people were abandoned when the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust closed in the wake of the scandal surrounding the former presenter of BBC shows Top Of The Pops and Jim’ll Fix It.
In January, detectives revealed that they had recorded 214 alleged sex offences committed by the presenter, who died in October 2011.
By March there were 450 claims made against Savile since Operation Yewtree was launched by Metropolitan Police last October.
Councillor Andrew Baxter said: “I’m just glad it looks as though it will be put into use again. I think once it has been put to a permanent use it will be a deterrent to the vandals.”
He added that the sale marked an important step in moving on.