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Culloden protesters take case to Scottish Parliament

The Culloden battle site near Inverenss. Picture: Jane Barlow

The Culloden battle site near Inverenss. Picture: Jane Barlow

CAMPAIGNERS have made a last ditch effort to stop houses being built on Culloden Battlefield.

Protests against plans to build 16 homes within 400 yards of the site of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s defeat have been held by history enthusiasts outside the Scottish Parliament.

Highland Council rejected the housing scheme but a government planning order overturned the decision.

Historic Scotland’s have also said that the development was unlikely to have significant impact on the character or atmosphere of the battlefield.

A small group of campaigners protested outside the Scottish Parliament today.

Now that the housing scheme has officially been given planning permission, they claim ministers have six weeks to decide whether to “call in” the reporter’s decision.

George Kempik, organiser of the Holyrood demonstration, said today: “We want to raise awareness with MSPs and make sure they know they are in a position to overturn the reporter’s decision.

“Up until now every single one of them has been very quiet.”

The campaigners said there were now plans for a road about 200 yards from the battlefield and for three houses outside the gates.

Mr Kempik said: “We are trying to stop the rot and the battlefield being enclosed by concrete.

Dave Tomlie said what was happening at Culloden had implications for other historic battlefields across Scotland.

He said: “Do we wait until the whole of the battlefield is surrounded by these new houses and we have another Bannockburn on our hands?”

Up to 2000 soldiers, mostly Highlanders, died during the hour-long Battle of Culloden on April 16, 1746, when Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite army were routed by government forces.

The moor is a special place for many Scots and a visitor centre at the site now attracts thousands of people from all over the world every year.

The head of the National Trust for Scotland, which runs the site, had previously slammed the Scottish Government for giving the green light the development on the land owned by David Sutherland.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said the reporter’s decision was final and the only recourse now was to appeal to the Court of Session, which must be done within six weeks.

SEE ALSO:

• Outlander author joins Culloden homes battle

 

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