ONE of Scotland’s richest women has angered locals over plans to open up her Highland retreat as an outdoor holiday resort.

Dame Ann Gloag - who is worth about £1billion - bought Beaufort Castle, which dates back to the 11th century, from Lord Lovat in 1994.

Now the founder of transport company Stagecoach plans a holiday resort at the Highland estate in Scotland which includes 50 bespoke holiday cabins. Dame Ann founded the Stagecoach Group in 1980 with her brother, Brian Souter, and her first husband, Robin Gloag.

But locals are up in arms over the development, claiming it could cause traffic chaos on the banks of the River Beauly. Steve Byford, chairman of Kilmorack Community Council, said the site will generate additional traffic on the local roads resulting in “an accident waiting to happen”.

He added that it was also “going to have an impact on local services” and “road safety” especially at a junction in Kiltarlity.

Another local said: “Investment by the Gloag family is welcome around here especially if it will boost the local economy. However, I am concerned that the development could cause chaos on the local roads.”

Another stressed local villages could become overwhelmed with too much tourist traffic.

The earliest mention of the site, as Downie or Dounie Castle, occurs in the reign of Alexander I (1106–1124) of Scotland.

The original castle was built by the Byset family and came into the hands of the Frasers of Lovat in the late 13th century.

However, the present castle was built in 1882 and was bought by the Gloag family after the Frasers decided to sell up.

The plans were unveiled last September with a planning application inprinciple being submitted to Highland Council last week.

Under the plans, the lodges would also be arranged around a courtyard housing a cafe, retail and admin space and a camping wash house.

It would also include ?looser, more creative structures which would respond directly to the colour, shadow and sculptural forms created by the living woodland.?

Fire pits would also be created, to recreate a traditional outdoor camping experience.

It also comes just weeks after the 77-year-old tycoon won a battle to build a new house on land near her castle, despite opposition from neighbours.

Dame Ann?s land is to be used for a three-bedroom home close to Kinfauns Castle, east of Perth.

She is also locked in a row over building an outward bound centre near her Perthshire estate Glassingall House.

The property was built in the 18th century and is famous as the ?House of Shaws? in Robert Louis Stevenson?s story Kidnapped.

The famous Scottish author penned the book in 1886 and is said to have based the plot on the family that occupied Old Glassingall at the time.

Agent Savills says the development will address unmet demand for visitor accommodation in the area and generate economic benefits locally.

Representative Angus Dodds, added: ?Our client is hoping to bring forward a development which will meet a latent demand from a growing number of visitors to the local area.

?The emerging proposals take inspiration from the surrounding woodland and the landscape and historical context of the site.”

Addressing concerns about transport, they appointed a consultant to provide a Transport Statement for the proposed development.

They added: “In undertaking detailed pre-application discussions with the Highland Council in respect of this proposal, the key policies that would be of relevance in the determination of this application have been highlighted.

“It is considered that the foregoing illustrates how the current proposals accord with these key policies and accordingly ... it is hoped that the Highland Council can support the current submission.”