I WAS interested to hear a report on BBC Radio Scotland this week about the King’s House Hotel in Glencoe. Conservation groups such as the National Trust for Scotland and the John Muir Trust are objecting to plans to build a modern 60-bedroom extension to the original old drovers’ inn, but, the report suggested many local people are supportive of the proposal because it will bring jobs and a venue for weddings and funerals to the area.

This is another example of the age old-conflict between development in the Highlands to create employment and the desire to preserve the landscape for tourism, recreation and wildlife, a situation that we will struggle to resolve while tourism is held out as the panacea for Highland decline.

Interestingly I am aware many Highland hotels struggle to recruit staff and draw them from abroad: Polish and Australian accents abound. Whether we need more tourism jobs, or whether other industries would bring more permanent settlers to the region, is a question the area’s representatives need to ponder.

Much of more modern part of the hotel has now been demolished, by the way.

John Macanenay