This is the latest installment of the Behind the Headlines newsletter, which you can sign up here to receive free to your inbox every Friday.

The National:

SOMETIMES, writing a story is quite a natural process. She said X in parliament, he said Y. What are the most important bits, what will their impact be (if any …). The whole process is over before you know it.

At other times, preparing a story for publication is a nerve-wracking experience that takes days. Even weeks. After all, you’re never quite sure how it will go down until it’s already out there, and you want it to be just right.

That was certainly the case for our front page story on Monday, about a US firm’s plans to turn roughly 8000 acres off Loch Tay into a high-security members-only compound for the mega-rich.

Discovery Land Company will turn Taymouth Castle into a billionaires’ “clubhouse” (their words), with everything a person could ever need provided on site. There will be, locals warn, no benefits except poorly paid jobs – with even the staff having accommodation within its walls.

With a development as big as this one, it was always going to take a lot of work to get the facts straight. And it certainly did.

READ MORE: Discovery Land Company magazine gets basics on Scotland so so wrong

We first clocked onto the story in mid-June. In the weeks after there followed hours and hours of digging through Companies House, past reportage, publicity from the firm, and about 1000 planning applications to get a handle on the situation. It was frankly unbelievable how many companies have been set up to each manage a tiny slice of the Loch Tay site, though the same names did keep cropping up behind them all.

Once we had an idea of how we were going to present the story, there was the issue of deciding what to put in it. There is simply no way anyone is going to read a 10,000 word treatise, even if there was more than enough information to write one.

So the process of cutting and selecting began. A late draft of 1700 words got cut down to 1400, which is still really very long for the paper. The significance of the story also felt like it merited a special front page, to really highlight it on newsstands across Scotland. So we held an editors meeting and got to planning.

READ MORE: Why we want to prevent Loch Tay from being a billionaires' playground

The result of our hard work paid off more than I honestly ever expected. As one indication, the story topped the “most read” ranking on our website two days running – which for a piece of this gravity is seriously something. Land use stories aren't always the highest performing, despite their importance.

The story has also drawn interest from figures across the political spectrum and – crucially – seen my inbox filled with further leads for stories about the development. 

So one thing’s for sure. This story isn’t going anywhere soon, and The National will be here to bring you every update on the way.