Tiny highland community slam millionaire castle owner for blocking their democracy

Carbisdale Castle which "Lady Carbisdale" Samantha Kane wants to turn into a private members club.
Carbisdale Castle which "Lady Carbisdale" Samantha Kane wants to turn into a private members club. -Credit:Peter Jolly.

A tiny Highland community is in dispute with a millionaire castle owner over claims she’s blocked their democratic voice.

Residents in Ardgay have written to the Scottish Government, their local MP and have even had to phone the police about Samantha Kane, the self-styled Lady of nearby Carbisdale Castle in Sutherland.

Since buying the site in 2022, Kane said she wants to turn it into a playground for the rich, create a replica Hanging Gardens of Babylon, set up a private fire station and rent the 118-year-old former youth hostel out for weddings.

Lady Carbisdale (Samantha Kane) is being sued.
Lady Carbisdale. -Credit:Peter Jolly.

But her plans have suffered several issues including a civil court case over unpaid bills for work at the site and a second case against also lodged by a law firm.

Now 250 locals have signed a petition calling on her to quit as the sole representative on the Ardgay and District Community council.

Community spokeswoman Kerry Hawthorne, 49, said letters were sent to MSP Maree Todd and MP Jamie Stone and they hope the local authority will take action and remove Kane from the role.

She said: “We have proposals by SSEN to put in pylons. People rely on the community council to put their views forward to Highland Council. We do not have that.”

Kane, 63, has refused to go and as she’s the only member, it means the group’s work has been paused. Kane, believed to be the only Brit to have changed gender three times, has threatened legal action against those opposing her bid to buy land.

Kane’s third attempt to buy the land was discussed by the community council in November. The four other councillors voted down her proposal.

The four later resigned and in February Forestry and Land Scotland confirmed it had sold Kane the land.

She was contacted for comment.

MP Stone said: “I hope the ­situation can be sorted out.”

MSP Todd said: “I am in discussions with constituents.”

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