Culloden homes plan will now be debated in public

CAMPAIGNERS trying to stop a housing development from going ahead on the site of the Battle of Culloden have won the right for the case to be heard in public.

Fans of television hit Outlander and the author of the books on which it is based, Diana Gabaldon, are among tens of thousands of objectors to the proposals.

The plans for 16 homes at Viewhill – included in the official designation of Culloden Battlefield – will be debated in public after a successful move by local councillors.

The original planning application was previously rejected by councillors but then approved after an appeal was successfully made to a Scottish Government planning reporter in 2014.

Housebuilder Kirkwood Homes from Aberdeenshire is now in charge of the project and has submitted detailed proposals for the Viewhill scheme. As the development is relatively small, the outcome was going to be decided under Highland Council’s delegated powers which allow such determinations to be made in private by council officers.

Local councillors Carolyn Caddick, Ken Gowans and Andrew Jarvie challenged the council over that decision and the application will now be decided in an open forum by the South Planning Committee next month. More than 35,000 objections to the plans have poured in from across the world, and there have been demonstrations at the site. It is part of the inventoried battlefield site but previously had farm buildings located on it, just a few hundred yards from the Culloden Battlefield conservation area.

George Kempik, founder of the Group to Stop Development at Culloden, said: “This is the right thing to do. The public have a right to have a say and hear a public debate on these proposals.

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