CONCERNS have been raised after the company seeking to turn a historic Scottish castle and 8000 acres of land into a high-security holiday compound for the super-rich acquired yet more land in Perthshire.

The US firm Discovery Land Company (DLC) is looking to build a gated community on the Taymouth Castle estate and neighbouring Glenlyon estate in Perthshire, with locals already reporting security forces guarding the perimeter of the properties.

The firm already operates holiday compounds – which it calls “worlds” – in various locations across the globe, charging initiation fees of up to $300,000 (£242,073). 

A petition seeking to put a stop to the plans has garnered more than 150,000 signatures.

However, despite criticism of the development as being an “echo of the Highland Clearances” the company has purchased yet more land in Perthshire.

The National: The American company's plans to turn Taymouth Castle into an holiday compound for the super rich have already garnered criticismThe American company's plans to turn Taymouth Castle into an holiday compound for the super rich have already garnered criticism (Image: Archive)

On Friday, DLC confirmed that it had acquired the Moness Resort in Aberfeldy.

The company also stated that it would hold a public meeting in the near future to discuss the acquisition, as well as the Taymouth development and associated environmental concerns.

John Swinney, the MSP for Perthshire North, and Pete Wishart, the MP for Perth and North Perthshire, said that it is vital that questions from locals are answered by DLC.

Swinney said: "The news that Discovery Land Company is acquiring Moness Resort is totally unexpected and will spark significant questions and undoubtedly concerns in the local community and beyond.

"Discovery Land Company have confirmed to me that the hotel will continue to operate as at present and that there will be no job losses. Whilst this is welcome, the acquisition raises significant questions about the scale of land and business acquisition that DLC are undertaking in the Breadalbane area.

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"It is absolutely vital that those questions are addressed openly and transparently by Discovery Land Company in dialogue with the local Community.

"I therefore welcome the fact that DLC have now agreed to the request that Pete Wishart and I have made to them to engage in a public meeting at which DLC can fully explain their plans to the community. The need for such a discussion is now ever more significant after the Moness Resort acquisition.

"I will work with Pete Wishart MP to put the arrangements for such a meeting in place with DLC at the earliest opportunity.”

Pete Wishart, who has previously said the development raises key questions about land ownership in Scotland, said DLC must be transparent with locals about what it intends to do with the Moness Resort.

He added: "The announcement that Discovery Land Company (DLC) is now taking over the Moness Resort in Aberfeldy will come as a complete shock to the local community and beyond, particularly at a time when there is still a lot of anxiety surrounding the Taymouth Castle, and Kenmore developments.

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“I very much welcome that there will be no job losses. However, this news will still inevitably raise further questions and concerns for DLC to answer.

“To that end, I am pleased that DLC have finally agreed to host a public meeting for local residents in the coming weeks. This is something that John Swinney and I have been encouraging for some time now, and which I hope will serve to reassure members of the public that DLC are acting entirely in the interests of the local community.

“John and I have received an incredible volume of enquiries on this topic, which speaks volumes about the importance of this to our constituents. At its heart, we have an area of profound natural beauty, which many people want to be assured will be protected and preserved at all costs.

“In light of the Moness announcement, what we need to see from DLC is thorough and continuous engagement with the local community, backed up by comprehensive plans and timelines, so that everybody is completely clear about what is happening and when.

"We also need them to be receptive to the various viewpoints and suggestions from the local community.

“John and I will remain in regular contact with DLC and ensure that they are fully aware of the feelings of our constituents on this matter.”