Plans Approved to Restore Coco Chanel’s Highland Love Nest

by Melissa Clark

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Exterior SmallerPlans to restore Coco Chanel’s former Highland love nest back to its former glory have been given the green light by planning officials.

Despite remaining dormant for more than 60 years, Rosehall Estate near Lairg in Sutherland, will now be fully restored under a project to be managed by Bell Ingram Design.

The 20 room Georgian mansion that lies at the heart of the estate was the romantic hideaway for the famed designer during her ten year affair with the 2nd Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor.

Plans have now been approved by Highland Council for the estate and home to be converted into an upmarket boutique hotel with five luxury holiday apartments and spa.

Iain Cram, Director at Bell Ingram Design, who are working on behalf of clients Ghulam Choudry and Aamer Waheed, said they are thrilled to receive the news that the famous property will be brought back to life.

“A great deal of work will be needed to restore Rosehall as sadly it has been uninhabited for the past 60 years.

“The council has been very supportive throughout this process however, so seeing the plans finally approved is great. The sensitive landscape on which Rosehall is based means we had to take several factors into consideration including wildlife studies, bat surveys and mitigating strategies to ensure all local habitats were safe.”

A team of specialists who act on behalf of the Chanel Archive has already been to view the property and offered their support in giving access to all their records.

Due to the property laying derelict for so many years, the majority of the internal features have not survived with as much as 60% of the building’s interiors having worn away.

Iain added: “Rosehall still encompasses much of the detail from when the 2nd Duke of Westminster lived there which makes the conservation of the property very interesting for us.

“This is a new subject of conservation for us working with steel and concrete but we will still have a strong nod to the 1920s/30s Chanel influence had on the property. Although we don’t know what the final interiors will look like, we hope to recreate as much of the original decor as possible.

“We think that Rosehall House will become one of the grandest properties in Scotland once complete.”

The B Listed property attracted a variety of famous visitors in its heyday including Sir Winston Churchill who came to stay at Rosehall in 1928 as a guest of the couple following an illness.

Built in 1822, Rosehall Estate was sold by the Duke of Westminster in 1928 to the Graesser family and has remained in the family for six decades until it was bought by current owners Save Heritage.

Established in 1899, Bell Ingram is a multi-disciplined firm of chartered surveyors, planning consultants, architects, estate agents, building surveyors and energy specialists. With more than 130 professional staff across 11 UK offices they provide local knowledge with national coverage.

Melissa Clark

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