Photo credit: Culloden in winter... Mary Maclennan, Inverness
This fight will not be over until all negotiations...for all houses at Viewhill are exhausted and withdrawn. . . It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for Culloden alone.
Update: June 11, 2014: To all who take an interest in this cause:
This group was formed in January, 2014, following a report
on Scottish Television that a company called Inverness Properties had appealed
a decision by Highland Council, to reject a planning application for 16 houses
on Viewhill farm, 400 mtrs from the Culloden Battlefield enclosure.
On further investigation we found out that Historic Scotland
had done what is called an "Inventory of Historic Battlefields" of all the
battlefields in Scotland. In that inventory they drew a line around an area of
Culloden Battlefield that they described as "of national importance".
The proposed development is inside this area and part of the extended
battlefield area. The whole site /area is a burial ground for those who
perished there during that bloody battle and it should be treated as sacred
ground in their memory.
Our demand: THIS MUST NOT GO AHEAD! We campaigned to put pressure on the Scottish Government to
overturn/recall this decision to allow the development and we also suggested
that a wider policy be put in place for the protection of all the land around
We created a petition, which has had world wide support, with over 18,000
signatures. We have organised numerous protest and flyer handout days at
Holyrood, Culloden and Inverness. Public support has increased due also in part
to reports in the media. We also set up this web site which has taken this
embarrassing story even further out into the world.
As we developed the group and met the various situations that arose, we found
out that the Ministers and the Reporter were in a difficult position due to two
major factors: Historic Scotland had given the developer their permission to go
ahead with the development and the Highland Council Planning Officer had also
agreed to the development, although it was rejected later by the councilors of
Highland Council, in a planning meeting.
We had considered appealing the findings of the Reporter at
the Court of Session. In doing so, we sought legal advice and it was at that
time we were informed that the Ministers and the Reporter were restricted by
the earlier decision of Historic Scotland and the Planning Officer and it was
unlikely that we would win.
Just about the same time we heard that the Scottish government
was about to announce a plan to give the area around all the battlefields the
greater protection we were seeking... too late for Viewhill. Nonetheless it
would seem our campaign had been making an impact. We feel we have encouraged this
greater protection to be created, possibly earlier than had been planned.
Better still, we also heard that the individual who owned the land was
preparing to have talks with the NTS about selling it to them, quite possibly
including the piece of land proposed for the 16 houses. We have also learned
that the NTS is conducting an archeological assessment of the entire Viewhill
Farm area. We await an announcement from the NTS.
During our campaign we have also been able to identify two
other developments closer to the battlefield enclosure and a farm access road.
We will be keeping an eye on this access road to make sure it is just that. The
two other developments have been withdrawn. I believe we can take a lot of
credit for that happening.
None of what I say is triumphant. Viewhill is still a great concern,
but at present we need to allow the NTS and Mr. Sutherland time to come to some
kind of agreement.
We may still have more work to do. If building work starts,
we must be prepared to move.
Thank-you, George Kempik for The Admins of GSDC
Photo credit: Longhouse Photography, Inverness
WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT:
A 16 unit housing development is being proposed at Viewhill, just 400m from the Battlefield Enclosure. The potential exists for housing developments surrounding Culloden.
This development has been opposed by Highland Council.
This development has been opposed by the National Trust.
The development is not in keeping with Policy 35.
Historic Scotland policies state: "Where planning authorities consult Historic Scotland on significant development...Historic Scotland’s views will be given consideration in (the) determination of a case.
Historic Scotland has not kept to their policies.
Historic Scotland has not visited the site of the proposed build
Yet, they have not opposed this build.
ONE CIVIL SERVANT is about to let this building take place.
This will just be the beginning of the desecration of the sacred burial grounds of Culloden.
Join the 18,000+ people, including Sir Kenneth Calman, Chairman of the National Trust for Scotland, Outlander author Diana Gabaldon, Dr. Tony Pollard, Director of the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology at Glasgow University, Historian Chris Haines MBE and many, many others who are making a statement against the development!
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