Millionaire Lottery Gift Leads to Megamansion in Front of Famous Scottish Castle

Posted on: February 9, 2023, 07:01h. 

Last updated on: February 9, 2023, 03:57h.

A megahome that became a megaheadache for the town of Edinburgh, Scotland, is moving forward. Craig and Lisa Charters began the project after receiving a sizable gift from Lisa’s parents after they won the lottery. But locals are concerned it will detract from the prominent position Edinburgh Castle holds.

Edinburgh Castle front gate
The Edinburgh Castle front gate entrance in the morning. After receiving a millionaire lottery gift, a couple plans to build a mansion in front of the castle. (Image: Love Edinburgh)

The couple initially purchased a simple bungalow in Edinburgh with their unexpected gift, the product of a £33-million (US$39.92 million) lottery win in 2016. They later decided the property was better suited for something grander, like a £5-million (US$6.05 million) mansion.

But when the Charters submitted their plans for the three-story structure to the town hall, they didn’t find much support from their neighbors.

After they presented the initial project, they listened to the complaints and made adjustments to the final design. These included reducing the height of the construction by about five feet and setting it further away from a neighbor’s property.

After several modifications and continued insistence, they have received approval from the local council, according to Edinburgh News,

Old Meets New

The locals still fought back. They said the construction was still too tall and that it would infringe on the privacy of surrounding properties. They also tried to use environmentalist tactics, arguing that it would block sunlight and harm wildlife. For good measure, they also claimed the construction would devalue their own properties.

Resistance continued, with at least 63 complaints aimed at blocking the project. The Charters were confident that they had a workable design, however, and were determined to turn the site of the former 1,720-square-foot bungalow into a modern wonder spanning almost 6,000 square feet.

The Edinburgh Council has decided to see what happens when new meets old. It approved the latest blueprints on Wednesday, with Councilor Neil Gardiner emphasizing its “brave design.”

Councilor Hal Osler supports the project, as well. He believes the Charters are ready to build something “sustainable” and “challenging” and hopes they have a “wonderful time” living in the mansion. Undoubtedly, the couple will continue to face backlash from the community long after they get settled in.

Edinburgh Castle History

In 1566, Queen Mary Stuart gave birth to James in one of the rooms at Edinburgh Castle. Just a year later, she was imprisoned and forced to abdicate in favor of James VI. At just 1-year-old, he became King of Scotland.

Five hundred years earlier, Queen Margaret (later St. Margaret) died in the castle. Her son, King David I, built a chapel in her memory, which now stands as the oldest structure in Edinburgh.

The castle has been the scene of repeated battles, and changed hands between the Scots and the Brits numerous times over the course of centuries. However, it always returned to Scotland, and today stands as a prominent example of Scottish determination.