And finally…. Sheikh plans four helipads on Highland estate

Inverinate Estate
Inverinate Estate

The crown prince and ruler of Dubai wants to build no less than four helicopter landing zones on his remote Highland estate.

The billionaire ruler of Dubai wants to allow corporate and private guests to be flown straight into the walled garden of his 63,000-acre Inverinate Estate in Lochalsh.

The plans for the 65sq-ft helipads have been lodged with Highland Council by KJ Architects of Newmarket.

A new vehicle entrance nearly 20ft wide, will be created to the north, to allow emergency access, while a gravel footpath will be laid to link the access, pads and the existing path to the big house Inverinate Lodge.

A design statement with the application states: “Helicopter has been selected as the most appropriate form of transport given the site’s remote location.

“The isolated nature of the site will ensure no resident properties will be affected by noise by arrivals/departures. The nearest neighbour is a significant ­distance from the site.”

It adds: “It is worth noting that use of the site by helicopter is not a new activity and that to date, there has been no adverse impacts recorded by residential properties in the wider surrounding area.

“The exact design will be confirmed at a later date following detailed specialist advice.”

As the helipads are not for commercial use, an “H” sign will not be required. Instead, a yellow painted circle will be provided.

The 66-year-old sheikh, a well-known horse breeder, has a number of wives and more than 20 children.

He bought the estate more than 30 years ago for a reputed £2 million. His family visit every year in the summer. The present Inverinate House was built in 1929 to replace a rebuild, constructed following a fire in 1864.

Last year the estate applied for permission to build a new 16-bedroom mansion, including a swimming pool, gym and other leisure facilities.

The plans were approved by the council officers in October last year.

A number of amendments to the designs were approved earlier this year. Alterations included expanding the leisure facilities because of the relocation of a nearby substation.