AN investigation is ongoing into an “alleged unauthorised development” on land earmarked to form part of a sprawling 8000-acre members-only compound for the mega-rich.

Scottish charity the John Muir Trust has warned that “substantial” work has been done building a track on the Glenlyon estate, seemingly without Perth and Kinross Council’s knowledge.

South of the iconic Schiehallion mountain, Glenlyon is ultimately owned by US billionaire John Paul DeJoria and is one of the two main parcels of land, alongside Taymouth Castle, which is set to form a private members’ compound for mega-rich holidaymakers.

READ MORE: Petition bid to stop US firm's 'playground' plans for Scottish estate

Pitched as a “clubhouse”, the American firm Discovery Land Company (DLC) is looking to turn the castle and some 8000 acres on its doorstep into a self-contained “world”.

Similar DLC projects elsewhere limit entry to members who have bought a property – which can cost anywhere from $3 million to $50m – and pay an annual fee – which could be from $37,500 to $300,000.

A slew of planning applications have been put in with the council for numerous works on the DLC project, with many already approved and others pending a decision.

But Perth and Kinross Council is probing whether or not some development on the Glenlyon estate has been undertaken without permission.

A council spokesperson said they had nothing to add beyond the information made public on their website, which says there is an investigation into an “alleged unauthorised development”, consisting of “alleged alterations/formation of track”.

READ MORE: How plans for Taymouth Castle echo history of clearances and fake fantasy

A provided map highlights a pathway running from just north of the village of Fortingall, itself north of Loch Tay, through the Glenlyon estate, past the Glenmore Bothy, and terminating at a waterway labelled Allt Mòr, directly south of Schiehallion.

The John Muir Trust, which manages the East Schiehallion estate that encompasses Gleann Mòr to the south, put out a call for help over the investigation.

“Do you know the track south of Schiehallion running between Fortingall and Uamh Tom a Mhòr-fhir?” the charity asked on Facebook.

“We've been notified about substantial development work being done to the track, shown in the photos, which it seems Perth and Kinross Council are unaware of.

“The council has now opened a case to look into the development.

“To help the council with their investigation, we’re looking for photographs of sections of the old track (ideally where it passes Meall Crumach and Meall nan Eun) to understand what it was like before the work was done. Do you have any suitable images? If so, please send them to our team at”

There have been further allegations that a large space of land at the base of the track, near Fortingall, has been cleared. It is not known for what purpose or if this allegation forms part of the council’s investigation.

The National:

The village of Fortingall is known for being home to one of Europe’s oldest trees, the Fortingall Yew (above). Forestry Land Scotland estimates that the tree is 5000 years old and it is specifically mentioned in DLC promotional material of the Taymouth development as a “natural wonder” of the area.

A DLC spokesperson said: “I can confirm our team have been collaborating with Perth and Kinross planning officials to ensure that work adheres to the required regulations.

“Planning officers recently visited the site to review ongoing works, including repairs to an existing track at Glenlyon Estate. Our team is following planning officer recommendations.”

Local campaigners with the Protect Loch Tay group have organised to oppose the DLC project, launching a petition earlier in the week. 

It has passed 4000 signatures since going live on Monday evening, and calls for oversight of the planned compound to be taken out of the hands of Perth and Kinross Council.