CONTROVERSIAL plans have emerged to convert a historic castle into self-catering holiday accommodation.

The proposals for Lews Castle, which stands over Stornoway Harbour, have sparked fury among other holiday accommodation providers, who have accused Western Isles Council of setting up in competition against them with a private company as partner.

Businessman Graham McLellan, who owns chalets and other letting properties in the Stornoway area, has written to councillors asking them not to proceed. He said: "Quite simply, in terms of the rules of state aid, where a private business or businesses are providing a service, no finance from the public purse should be available to one business over another." Western Isles Council refused to discuss the concerns.

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