Shock and disbelief as "Capsule Hostel" firm seeks permission for a floating accommodation block in Urquhart Bay, Loch Ness

Spokesman for Rising Dragon Capsule Hostels, Zeito Wannashragi, said " this is a natural development for our company. A local government agency, Historic Scotland, has already set a precedent for development by Loch Ness, so we thought that a low cost capsule hostel sited nearby the world famous Urquhart Castle would be a very good idea. We see a growing Japanese market and our country folk already know and love the "Capsule Hostel" product."

A capsule"We are initially intending to seek permission for a 500 "room" floating hostel, which will be moored in Urquhart Bay although we will try and blend in with the adjoining Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) by painting the capsule hostel green and putting stylish plastic foliage along the decks. Capsules will contain a colour TV, alarm clock, radio and Internet email terminal and, due to the large number of "rooms", prices will start as low 7.00 per night".

A prominent resident in Drumnadrochit, and spokesperson for the silent majority, said, "this is disgraceful. How on earth can our authorities just sit back and see local bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) and small bars and hotels destroyed by such blatant over-commercialism? We just won't have it and I know I speak for just about everybody when I say that Rising Dragon has a big fight on its hands."

Stung by local criticism Rising Dragon Capsule Hostels have promised future "widespread consultation" with the local community. "We will have regular village meetings to which people who support our plans are all invited. We don't mind listening to their views before building our hostel", said Mr. Wannashragi. But he warned that the project would need to go ahead with or without local support and looked forward to Local Enterprise Company funding. "The Highlands needs our money and our jobs", he said, "and quangos in the Highlands can surely well understand my company's need to make profit out of their area".

The Highlands of Scotland Tourist Board (HOST) was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

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