IDYLLIC: The houseboats will be rented out to holiday makers.
Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority has granted planning consent for three of the floating homes to be sited at a popular beauty spot.
The purpose-built craft are to be permanently moored at Aldochlay and rented out to holidaymakers.
The scheme is the brainchild of local landowners Luss Estates and has been given the go-ahead despite misgivings from the Loch Lomond Association (LLA) loch users' group, which said the plan could spoil "irreplaceable scenic landscapes".
Houseboats used to be a feature on the Loch and were painted by the celebrated Scottish artist George Leslie Hunter at the start of the 20th century.
By the 1920s there was a floating community living on the water, and a survey of the vessels moored on or beached beside the River Leven at Balloch in 1925 found there was around 350 people living in 126 craft.
However, most were removed from the area by the 1950s as people moved on to the land and the last houseboat disappeared by the 1970s.
Sir Malcolm Colquhoun, chairman of local landowners Luss Estates, said he had fond memories of the original structures and hoped the new ones would prove popular with visitors. He added: "I used to walk past them every day on the way to Luss school in the 1950s.
"They were such a pretty sight, bright and colourful, adorned with flowers, and completely at one with their setting.
"I don't remember ever going on board one – I should imagine they were pretty basic – but as a child it seemed to me perfectly normal people around Loch Lomond should live on the water itself, as well as on the land."
The new houseboats are built in the UK by Hertfordshire-based specialist Eco Floating Homes, which claims they are a low-carbon alternative to land-based housing.
The £500,000 project is part of a wider multimillion-pound strategic development framework initiated by Luss Estates, following on from last year's re-opening of the Loch Lomond Arms Hotel after a £3 million refurbishment.
Sir Malcolm added: "Luss is one of Scotland's most visited villages, and our new 21st- century houseboats will revive a much-loved tradition, albeit with a completely different standard of comfort and style.
"At the same time they will address justified concerns that too many houses nowadays are sold off as second homes or get converted into holiday cottages.
"With the water of Loch Lomond gently lapping underfoot, maybe a chilled glass of chardonnay in hand, these holiday houseboats will promise visitors a relaxing and refreshing experience."
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