Luxury hotel and spa planned for Ben Nevis

NEW PLANS for a £25 million resort complete with a five-star hotel and spa in the foothills of Ben Nevis have been unveiled.

Ben Nevis is hugely popular with tourists. Picture: TSPL

Forestry Commission Scotland, who created the ambitious proposal, claim the resort will “plug a gap” in the tourism market at Lochaber as well as help to improve facilities at the range itself.

It is thought the project, a joint venture by the Commission and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, will include a five-star hotel and spa, a bunkhouse, up to 50 lodges and a campsite set in 7,300 acres of national forest, close to the existing Nevis Range ski resort.

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Local residents and businesses are being asked for their views on a masterplan for a new development at Leanachan Forest on the lower slopes of Scotland’s highest peak.

Craig Millar, local area manager for the Forestry Commission, said the proposals presented a “huge opportunity” for the area.

However, some local business owners expressed concern that the development could take away a huge piece of the market share in the area’s lucrative tourism market.

Mr Millar said he was confident that the development would not have a detrimental effect on other local businesses. He said: “Our focus is very much on plugging a gap in the market which has been identified, which is accommodation suitable for families and so on. We are absolutely focused on expanding on what is here and not displacing any other businesses.”

• A public consultation on the plans will run until December, with a formal planning application expected to be submitted next year.