Colin McCrae crash site set for home development

The McCrae house. Picture: NewsLine
The McCrae house. Picture: NewsLine
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THE widow of former world rally champion Colin McRae is planning to create a luxury housing development near where her husband and son died.

Alison McRae has been given permission for a multi-million- pound estate on land next to the family mansion in Lanark.

McRae, 39, was tragically killed when his helicopter crashed near the grounds of his home on 15 September, 2007.

His five-year-old son Johnny and his son’s friend, Ben Porcelli, aged six, also died, along with family friend Graeme Duncan, 37.

Mrs McRae has met with senior planning officials at South Lanarkshire Council to discuss turning a number of disused buildings into nine large detached homes.

The project was given the green light, but has stalled due to the economic climate, and the lack of demand for new homes in the area.

However, Mrs McRae had asked the council for more time to start the development.

She has now been given a further three years to begin work after no objections were received.

In a written report, the council said: “The proposal has no adverse impact on residential or visual amenity nor raises any environmental or infrastructure issues.”

Documents lodged with planners detail Mrs McRae’s plans for the secluded site.

A design statement, submitted on her behalf, reads: “Nine individual private homes are proposed on large sites with sizable front gardens.

“The houses would be a maximum of one-and-a-half storeys in height and be designed in accordance with the principles set out in South Lanarkshire Council’s ‘Rural Building Conversion and New House Design Guide’.

“The site will provide the opportunity for individually designed buildings with a zero-carbon footprint with designs and materials appropriate to the setting.”

Mrs McRae, 44, was last night unavailable for comment.

In 2010, planning chiefs turned down her bid to build a new home three miles from Jerviswood.

South Lanarkshire Council refused the plans after concluding they breached regulations.

Planning officers wrote to Mrs McRae to inform her that her application had been rejected due to its visual impact.

The proposal had raised concerns from some residents, with one voicing fears over potential damage to her property.

In 2008, details of McRae’s £8,371,975 fortune were revealed.

Legal papers showed his estate in the UK was worth £5,537,104, and his overseas assets to be worth £2,834,871.

Following the crash in 2007, Ben’s parents, Mark and Karen, accused McRae of taking “unnecessary risks” after an official report criticised his flying and confirmed that he did not have a valid pilot’s licence.

A report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) concluded that the cause of the accident was “not positively determined”.

However, a fatal accident inquiry found the crash happened because McRae carried out unnecessary low-level manoeuvres.