Author Alexander McCall Smith has won permission to extend his luxury retreat in the Highlands.
The writer, best known for his No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency books, is to convert part of a boathouse at his property on the Morvern peninsula on the west coast of Scotland into a one-bedroom apartment.
McCall Smith and his wife, Elizabeth, who live in Edinburgh, submitted their proposals to change the upper part of the building to Highland council for planning approval.
A keen sailor, he loves to escape to Morvern, with its sheltered deep water, to enjoy his hobby and has said the surroundings have inspired many of his books.
Author Alexander McCall Smith has won permission to extend his luxury retreat in the Highlands. The writer, best known for his No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency books, is to convert part of a boathouse into a one-bedroom apartment
This is how Alexander McCall Smith’s boathouse will look once planned building work is finished. The left picture shows how the existing doors will be removed while on the right the new timber frame stairs that will be installed
The boathouse is in the grounds of McCall Smith’s luxury retreat in the Highlands (pictured). It is believed he paid £460,000 for the property
The plans include structural alterations to the boathouse, including a new balcony and stairs.
They have now been given the green light by planning officials at the local authority after no objections were received on the condition the apartment is not sold as a separate property.
In a report they said: ‘The proposed design is considered acceptable and raises no substantive concerns regarding loss of amenity.
‘The apartment would be sited above the existing boathouse/store.
‘Given the integrated design, mixed use of the building and shared access, parking and services, the proposal is not considered to offer sufficient residential amenity to allow permanent, separate residential occupancy.
‘Permission is recommended subject to condition to restrict occupancy of the apartment to residential or holiday letting use, operated by the occupiers of the schoolhouse.’
McCall Smith, 69, opened a new bookshop in Fort William last month and said: ‘I’m very fond of this part of the world and come here regularly so I can write in peace and quiet. I love sailing and this is one of the best places for it.’
The writer of the bestselling 44 Scotland Street series, a former professor of medical law at Edinburgh University, gained enormous popularity later in life when he penned his first novel featuring the African sleuth Precious Ramotswe.
McCall Smith, 69, plans to upgrade part of the boathouse near to his luxury retreat in the Scottish Highlands. The illustration shows the proximity of the boathouse to the main property
McCall Smith’s boathouse is situated in a secluded spot in the Scottish Highlands on the banks of Loch Teacuis, in Morvern
The cake-loving Botswana detective who has won the hearts of millions was played by soul singer Jill Scott in a BBC adaptation screened in 2009.
McCall Smith had previously spoken of his love for the area where the boathouse sits.
He told Catherine Butler: ‘Having lived in dry countries, I am very much aware of the gift of water, and our house in Argyll is surrounded by it.
‘It is in a remote part of the Highlands at the foot of a mountain and opposite a sea loch, Loch Teacuis, which at high tide reaches our gate.
‘It is the water that makes Argyll such a lovely place to live. The weather comes in off the Atlantic and sweeps over Mull, hits the mountains of Morvern, then falls on us as rain.
‘We have 335cm a year, which means it rains every day, but I don’t mind.’