THE First Minister has been urged to demand action from the controversial developers of Taymouth Castle after what locals claimed was an “insulting” response to his previous calls.

Campaigners in the Kenmore and Loch Tay area have written to John Swinney raising their concerns about the castle development, which is being completed by the US firm Discovery Land Company (DLC).

In the letter, locals claim that Swinney’s previous letter to DLC, sent in June 2023, had been met with a response that was “inadequate at best and insulting at worst”.

They note that Swinney had requested the publication of a “clear and accessible master plan [...] covering the next 10 years” amid public concerns about DLC’s intentions for the castle – as well as the other properties and thousands of acres of grounds purchased in its vicinity.

READ MORE: US firm 'took one year to answer questions on Loch Tay plans', locals say

Elsewhere around the world, DLC runs exclusive compounds which are reserved only for mega-rich paying members. Initiation fees are up to $300,000, follow-up annual fees up to $37,500, and house prices on DLC land well into the millions.

The campaigners’ letter states: “The ‘master plan’ published on Taymouth Castle's website provides few details other than a map of the estate and a handful of vague dates concerning public facilities in Kenmore.

“This does not even come close to meeting the definition of a master plan as set out by Scottish Government guidance and provides practically no valuable information about the full scope of the project.

“(You will note that some of the company's most controversial moves - such as the purchase of Moness Resort, the golf maintenance garage in Kenmore, and the future development at Newhall - were never included on this ‘plan’.)”

The National: Kenmore. Picture: Dan Bean

In March, The National reported that DLC’s plans for a nine-metre-high golf cart garage – which was to be built on land earmarked for affordable housing – had been dropped after a severe backlash.

In their letter, the campaigners further argue that there has been no “transformation in the levels of community engagement”, as Swinney had called for in the wake of a well-attended public meeting on the development in the summer of 2023.

They pointed to a meeting - held by DLC and reported by The National in November 2023 - at which spaces were limited to two per household, anyone wishing to ask questions had to provide all their personal details, and anyone living outwith the village of Kenmore were excluded.

The campaigners’ letter to Swinney states: “Is this the transformative community engagement that you asked for last July?

READ MORE: 'Abominable': Fresh concerns for Loch Tay plans over US firm's track record abroad

“Are these the actions of a company that genuinely cares about keeping us informed about their role in this region's future? Or does it appear that DLC has met your requests with the bare minimum while continuing to obfuscate?”

The local residents further called on Swinney to request a renewed, detailed master plan from DLC.

Taymouth Castle is in Swinney’s Perthshire North constituency, which he has represented since 2011.

A spokesperson for the First Minister said: “In his capacity as a constituency MSP, Mr Swinney has worked diligently to raise the concerns of local residents directly with Discovery Land Company. Additionally, he has sought to ensure that the diverse range of views regarding the Taymouth Castle development are heard and respected.

“He is committed to continuing this local engagement and working collaboratively with all stakeholders in order to achieve a greater level of transparency and more open dialogue.”

DLC was approached for comment.