COUNCIL chiefs have given the go-ahead for alteration works at a peninsula castle which was sold for £1.25 million last year.

David Leavitt’s plans for Knockderry Castle, in Cove, included the installation of replacement windows and doors and a replacement external staircase.

The castle was designed by Alexander Thomson in the 1850s, with Baronial additions by William Leiper in 1897. It was bought by Mr Leavitt and his wife Chelom in February 2023.

One objection was received from the public, expressing concerns that important features and artwork within the castle could be damaged or removed, and that the character of the listed building would be damaged.

However, an Argyll and Bute Council planning officer said that the application for planning permission referred only to external alterations.

The officer said: “These works also include the removal of a section of wall and two windows set back behind the existing stone arches.

“It is noted that during the determination process this element of the works has been amended due to concerns that Historic Environment Scotland raised in terms of the proposed screening being in-between the existing stone arches.

“To address this the applicants have revised the drawings to show the screening set back behind the existing stone arches.

"The proposed screening will be floor to ceiling slim line metal framed glazing in a dark colour with section to form double doors.”

The officer added: “It should be noted that the planning officer and built heritage conservation officer undertook a detailed site inspection both internally and externally.

“It was understood from this inspection that the property overall is in a state of disrepair and has suffered from a lack of upkeep and maintenance historically.

“Some areas of the property are in a serious state of dilapidation. It was concluded that significant repair and refurbishment are required urgently to protect this important property for future generations.

“The proposals are considered to be in keeping with the character of the existing listed property and surrounding conservation area.

"They are considered to be an enhancement to the existing property and utilise high quality materials and design.”