New protest at Culloden as diggers break ground

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Protestors will gather at the site of a new housing development near Culloden Battlefield as diggers break ground on the land.

Work has begun at Viewhill Farm to build 16 new homes following a four-year campaign to halt the work.

Campaigners against the housing development at Viewhill Farm gathered at the Scottish Parliament in February and plan to meet again at Culloden next month. PIC:  Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.

Campaigners against the housing development at Viewhill Farm gathered at the Scottish Parliament in February and plan to meet again at Culloden next month. PIC: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.

The site sits across the B9006 from the main Culloden visitor attraction but falls within the historic boundary of the battlefield and Culloden Muir conservation area.

READ MORE: Historian asks ‘are we going to lose Culloden?’

Some historians have described the land as a war grave with bodies of soldiers killed at Culloden in April 1746 likely to have been buried where they fell.

The Group to Stop Development at Culloden will gather at the Culloden Battlefield centre before marching to the housing development site on Saturday, October 13.

Diggers break ground at Viewhill Farm. PIC: Andrew Duncan/Group to Stop Development at Culloden.

Diggers break ground at Viewhill Farm. PIC: Andrew Duncan/Group to Stop Development at Culloden.

READ MORE: Heritage chiefs ‘do not object’ to Culloden holiday park

Spokesman George Kempik said it was unlikely the group would have any chance of stopping the building work.

However, he added: “We have been fighting this for more than four years now. All legal routes were closed to us.

“All we can do now is appeal to prospective house purchasers to think about supporting this desecration.”

Permission to build at Viewhill Farm was granted on Scottish Government appeal in 2014 after Highland Council initially refused the plans.

The local authority later drew up a conservation area to protect the land.

However, the original planning permission still stood - and a new developer came back last year to push the housing scheme forward.

It is understood that an local authority archaeologist was on site as diggers moved onto the land but that nothing significant was recovered.