CONTROVERSIAL plans by theatre impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh to help revitalise his Highland hideaway have been unanimously approved by planners.

Councillors backed a recommendation to give the go-ahead to the £750,000 waterfront scheme at Mallaig - despite objections from local businesses - and praised the "excellent" design of the scheme, which had clearly not come out of a "Lego catalogue."

A public meeting of more than 100 people in December unanimously backed Sir Cameron's plans. This followed fears that the entertainment mogul may pull out of the project after being "deeply hurt" over claims that he was "wrecking" the village.

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Sir Cameron said he would go ahead with the project if it was granted planning permission.

The 66-year-old bought the 15,000 Nevis Estate in 1994 after spending childhood holidays there.

His scheme involves the demolition of the former village hall, erection of marina facilities, two residential units and mixed use space incorporating retail and possibly hot food takeaway.

Mallaig Harbour Authority will also gain new toilets and shower facilities out of the development. There will also be a 40-metre long jetty and an improved slipway. The plans for a food outlet upset some villagers.