New homes at Culloden Battlefield approved

Permission has been granted to build 16 new homes close to Culloden Battlefield despite widespread protest over the plans.

A memorial cairn at Culloden Battlefield. PIC: Creative Commons/Flickr.
A memorial cairn at Culloden Battlefield. PIC: Creative Commons/Flickr.

Kirkwood Homes has been given approval for the development after reviving an earlier application for the land.

This is despite Viewhill Farm now being included in an enlarged Culloden Muir conservation area to reflect its significance during the battle on April 16, 1746.

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The site sits around 400 yards north of the core battlefield site and visitor centre across the B9006.

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The National Trust for Scotland said the go-ahead for the development was a blow for the site and warned of the loss of historic sites in the future.

Diarmid Hearns, the charity’s head of policy, said: “We strongly feel that this is the wrong development for Culloden and are deeply disappointed at the planning system’s failure to protect this important site from the threat of development.

“The Trust, the community, the local authority and many others with an interest in Culloden have made their views known. We do not appear to have been heard, however.

“This is very concerning, particularly in light of the proposals for a new Planning Bill, which if anything, would give people even less of a say on development in their local communities.

“Scotland’s historic sites and stunning landscapes could be lost forever. We need to make sure that the places which make Scotland so special get the protection they deserve. ”

The charity says that it will now focus on limiting the impact of the development on the site of the last pitched battle in the UK.

Mr Hearns will give evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee during Stage 1 of the Planning (Scotland) Bill on Wednesday 14 March.

Research carried out by the conservation charity in autumn last year found that most people felt they had no influence on the planning decisions that affected them.

Councillors on Highland Council’s south planning application committee voted in favour of the plans today.