Culloden Battlefield is Threatened "The site has national and international importance, not only Scottish. It is one of the few places that openly speaks about the horrifying effects of the Highland Clearances that affect Scottish culture to this very day."
Map credit below, David Learmonth and Alan Brown Admins Note: to read articles below, click on date/headline live link
Development encroachment on the Battlefield. Note that the NTS Culloden Battlefield area is much smaller than the area of the actual battle.
Click image to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
GSDC Admin Statement: Following recent press reports, GSDC Admin wish to express to all GSDC members that the Group has NO political affiliation or involvement with political party issues in the Inverness region that have come to light recently.
Equally, the GSDC is NOT in any way associated, directly or otherwise, with AUOB or any other organisation unilaterally endorsing live protests at Highland Council or indeed elsewhere. GSDC is an entirely non-political Group consisting of members of many nationalities and private political persuasions, all of whom are warmly welcomed in sharing the sole purpose of defending the integrity of Culloden Battlefield.
GSDC Admin is currently closely following progress with the upcoming planning applications at Treetops AND Muirfield Farm, amongst others. Despite what might appear elsewhere in the Press or on social media, please consider information provided here as fully verified before publication on the GSDC Facebook page.
We shall endeavour to keep the Group updated with timely and factual information on all proposed developments on the Battlefield. Many thanks for your continued support and understanding! GSDC Admin.
October 12, 2020 . . . Culloden chief: Backing of holiday park plan near battlefield is 'depressing' The plans were strongly condemned by historians and campaigners given the site, the old Treetops equestrian centre at Feabuie, is where British troops “saddled up” before their 1746 clash with the Jacobites. The new holiday park sits around a mile north of the section of battlefield owned by National Trust for Scotland (NTS), with the conservation charity among those objecting to the plans. Raoul Curtis-Machin, NTS operations manager at Culloden Battlefield, said: “We objected very strongly and the fact that it is going to get approved is very depressing. We can do no more at this stage.
October 6, 2020 . . . Press and Journal Fury as Culloden holiday village up for approval – after previous rejection Controversial proposals for a holiday village near Culloden Moor are to be recommended for approval by Highland Council, despite strong opposition. Members of the south planning committee are to be asked to back the development, which has attracted outrage from those opposed to developments on the historic battle site. Inverness Paving wants to build a four-star, £1 million holiday village with 13 lodges, a 100-seat restaurant and cafe and shop at the former TreeTops riding centre in Faebuie, a mile-and-a-half from the battlefield.
September 16, 2020 . . . Inverness Courier War of words at Culloden continues A bitter war of words is continuing over controversial plans for a holiday village at Culloden. Inverness Paving wants to convert the former Treetops Stables at Faebuie, Culloden Moor, into a leisure destination comprising 13 new holiday lodges, an on-site café/retail facility and a new restaurant. Previous plans were rejected by Highland Council officials last year because of the impact on the surrounding woodland and natural environment. A resubmitted application has now attracted hundreds of objections including a response from the Group to Stop Development at Culloden (GSDC). It claims research by a historian shows the proposed development is actually on Culloden battlefield rather than near it. It maintains the battlefield site, owned by the National Trust for Scotland, represents less than a half of the battlefield.
September 3, 2020 . . . Inverness Courier Battle intensifies over proposed holiday development near Culloden Battlefield A battle over controversial plans for a holiday village near Culloden Battlefield has intensified. Inverness Paving wants to convert the former Treetops Stables at Faebuie, Culloden Moor, into a leisure destination comprising 13 new holiday lodges, an on-site café/retail facility and a new restaurant. Previous plans were rejected by council officials last year because of its impact on the surrounding woodland and natural environment. The bid also attracted 87 objections, mainly due to the sensitivity of the site.
National Trust for Scotland: Public plead to protect Culloden The unique atmosphere, importance as a place of history and remembrance, and the open aspects of Culloden Battlefield must be protected, according to the public.
We are revealing the findings of our Culloden 300 Report, the 275th anniversary of Charles Edward Stuart’s arrival in Scotland which ignited the 1745 Jacobite rising.
Last year, around 3,000 people took part online and in person in the consultation which aimed to establish how people wanted the site of Britain’s last pitched battle to look in 2046, 300 years on from the event that marked the conclusion of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s attempt on the British throne.
July 23, 2020 . . . Press and Journal Call for joint action to protect Culloden Battlefield against inappropriate development The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) says the integrity of the famous site is under threat from “piecemeal decision-making, unclear guidance and a lack of focused resource”. It has urged “active, collaborative and future-focused management” to preserve the battlefield’s cultural landscape. The NTS reveals the findings of its Culloden 300 consultation today, on the 275th anniversary of Charles Edward Stuart’s arrival in Scotland, starting the 1745 Jacobite rebellion.
From the GSDC: Just over two years ago, a planning application (18/01399/FUL) was submitted for a holiday park proposed to be built on Culloden Battlefield, including lodges, cafe, shop, reception, laundry and a 100-seat restaurant. This is site number 4 indicated on the map pinned above and at the right. This planning application was refused by Highland Council on 9th May, 2019. That though was not the end and perhaps encouraged by other developments since approved on the battlefield, a new application (20/01728/FUL) has just been submitted.
May 28, 2020 . . . Daily Record Culloden 'faces new threat' from holiday park plan, warns National Trust The National Trust for Scotland has warned of a renewed threat to build a holiday park upon a part of the historic Culloden Battlefield. The charity originally opposed the first attempted planning application back in May 2018 - which was eventually turned down by the Highland Council. Now, they have warned that they will be opposing a re-submitted proposal, which is based upon the conversion of the Treetops equestrian centre at Febuie on Culloden Moor into a holiday, leisure and hospitality facilities. General Manager for the Highlands & Islands, National Trust for Scotland, Clea Warner stated that they can can see nothing especially ‘new’ about this new submission, she said: "The Battle of Culloden ranged over a large area. We own a key part of the battlefield at Culloden but not the land on which the stables are built. Nevertheless, we’ve raised our voice in the past against developments that threatened the integrity of the wider historic battlefield.
May 22, 2020 . . . The Herald Anger at new £1m plans for holiday village at Culloden Heritage campaigners are up in arms over controversial plans to build a holiday resort next to one of the most important battlefields in Scottish history. Under the plans submitted by developers Inverness Paving, a new four-star, £1 million holiday village with 13 lodges, a 100-seat restaurant and cafe and shop will be built.
March 5, 2020 . . . The Scotsman Culloden: New home plan poses "irreparable scar" for historic battlefield Highland Council has received an application for the proposed property at Muirfield Farm at Westhill, near Inverness. It is the latest in a string of contentious applications for land that falls within the original battlefield boundary. If built, the house will sit to the north-west of the area owned by the National Trust for Scotland. (Note, click on map to right, see #9, location of Muirfield Farm)
February 22, 2020 . . . The Scotsman Culloden: Crunch meeting at battlefield looms amid plans for luxury home on 'national war grave' Historians, planning experts and civil servants are due to gather at Culloden Battlefield at a crunch meeting which will help inform whether a luxury home can be built on what some have described as a "national war grave". The Scottish Government's planning reporter will make a site visit to land at Culchunaig where plans have been lodged to turn a dilapidated farm steading into a family home complete with zen garden, hot tub and chill out zone. The site sits just to the south of the boundary fence of the portion of the battlefield under the ownership of the National Trust of Scotland, which manages around a third of the area where the final encounter was staged between the Jacobites and British Army in 1746.
From the GSDC . . .November 24, 2019 CULLODEN BATTLEFIELD has an important place in the history of the Scottish Nation and its People. Few cannot claim a connection to the Historic site. In that regard, it has obtained the status of a site of National Importance and included in Scotland's Inventory of Battlefields. It is also a site of International importance to the millions of Scots descendants within the Scottish Diaspora. Few cannot claim a descendant who fought or died there, or suffered from punishing events in the aftermath of the Battle - transportation, slavery, the Clearances - all these relate to the Battle of Culloden.
The events at Culloden had far reaching global effects - be they citizens of Scotland or the Diaspora, development at Culloden has raised objections from thousands of citizens of Scotland and tens of thousands worldwide.
Our opposition is based on the clear evidence that Scottish Government policies and guidelines are in place that should allow any Highland Council or Government official - Scottish Minister or Reporter -sufficient guidance and regulations support in assuring that Culloden Battlefield and its wider area is offered protection against any development. We deplore the fact that currently, no less than four(4) planning applications for development within the Battlefield Inventory Boundary area are registered with Highland Council for consideration.
Our opposition to development is not based on preventing houses from being built – elsewhere. Houses are needed. We are aware that a need has been identified by the Scottish Government for 9,000 homes in the Inverness area between 2012 and 2021. We do not want houses being built on, or in the areas adjacent to the battlefield at Culloden. In support of insisting on full protection for the Battlefield, we point out that the Battle of Culloden went on far beyond those areas currently identified.
Today, we are releasing a new series of GSDC maps. They are the combined work of the Admin team. Produced for our members to use and share. Once again, we thank you all for your continued Support, Commitment and Passion.
Map of the Battle of Culloden provided by The Historians Council on Culloden
November 29, 2019 . . . The National Trust for Scotland Protecting Culloden The threat to this revered site, one of the world’s most intact historic battlefields, comes from the relentless growth of nearby Inverness. Developers are eyeing up the ‘empty’ space of Culloden, where the cheap potential of greenfield sites allows them to squeeze in the maximum number of housing units at maximum profit.
November 27, 2019 . . . The Scotsman Culloden: Scottish Ministers intervene in plan to build luxury home overlooking battlefield "Scottish Ministers have given this Direction in view of the proposed developments potential impact on Culloden Battlefield, which is a nationally important battlefield."The government's intervention comes amid growing concern that land within the historic boundary of the battlefield is not being fully protected from development. A conservation area set up around the site has so far had little impact.
November 12, 2019 . . . Press and Journal Culloden holiday village developers pledge to include historic significance of location in their plans Developers of a controversial holiday village at Culloden have pledged to incorporate the significance of the historic battle into their plans. A £1 million proposal for four-star lodges and a 100-seat restaurant at TreeTops Stables in Faebuie, on Culloden Moor, has sparked fury from protesters who claim it will desecrate the battlefield. Developers Inverness Paving and the architects HRI Munro hosted an open day at the weekend which was also attended by members of Stop Development at Culloden.
November 9, 2017 . . . The Scotsman Protest gathers at Culloden over revived holiday park plan A small protest gathered today against plans to create a holiday park within the historic boundary of Culloden Battlefield. Around 15 members of the Stop Culloden Development Group gathered at an open day to discuss proposals for 13 chalets and a 100-seater restaurant at Tree Tops Stables, Fraebuie. An application for the development was rejected by Highland Council earlier this year given its impact on surrounding woodland.
November 7, 2019 . . . BBC News Unesco status 'would better protect' Battle of Culloden NTS believes the Unesco designation would prevent housing developments encroaching on the site. The trust, which manages the battlefield, has been concerned about homes being constructed at the boundaries of its existing conservation area. Culloden's operations manager, Raoul Curtis-Machin, said the Unesco status would make it harder to build new properties at locations visible from the battlefield. The trust has already started researching how to secure a world heritage designation. Mr Curtis-Machin said: "Culloden was way more than just a battle. "The ramifications and resonance after the Battle of Culloden were huge for Scotland and particularly Highland culture." He said a Unesco World Heritage designation would create a "buffer zone" and "stronger protection" of the landscape around the battlefield.
It's OFFICIAL!! Treetops holiday park application 18/01399/FUL (Change of use from equestrian centre to holiday, leisure and hospitality facilities including 13 lodges, cafe/shop, reception, laundry and restaurant). REFUSED by Highland Council.
The Scotsman . . . May 10, 2019 Victory declared as Culloden holiday park plan is refused The site sits around a mile north of visitor attraction managed by National Trust for Scotland but falls within the eastern edge of the greater battlefield and the Culloden Muir Conservation Area, which was drawn up in 2015 to protect the sensitive area. More than 100 objections were lodged against the plans with a campaign against development in the historic landscape attracting support from around the world. Highland Council planning officers have now refused the plans, primarily given the holiday park's impact on surrounding woodland and the natural environment.
This petition is addressed to David Fraser Sutherland, Kirkwood Homes Ltd. and Historic Environment Scotland
The Admin and members of GSDC, and all who sign this petition are very concerned that this land will disappear under houses and pavements; thus creating an irreparable scar on Culloden Moor and ultimately will generate disrespect towards those who died and lie buried under its unforgiving moorland. The building of 16 luxury houses at Viewhill farm would convert the existing agricultural land use to suburban, subdivided parcels. Probable widening and extensions of roads accessing this property do not comply with the Culloden Muir Conservation Area. If allowed, this development will affect the area in a dramatic, negative way. Increased traffic, street lighting, issues with drainage and unsightly rooflines, and increased residential noise will greatly affect the Battlefield experience. The area will lose its ability to convey a sense of historical and cultural significance, as a memorial, in which to sit and contemplate, as a place of connection for millions of people around the world.
Map created by Historic Scotland to indicate the area of historical importance at Culloden Battlefield. Note that Viewhill Farm is in black and in the protected area!
Map of the 2015 Culloden Muir Protection Area indicating that the battle took place over a much wider area. Note that Viewhill Farm is in this protected area!
WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT. . .
In 2011, an Inverness property developer presented plans to Highland Council for a 16 unit housing development at Viewhill, just 400+ metres from Culloden Battlefield.
The proposed development was rejected by Highland Council. The Developer appealed. The matter was then decided by a Government Appointed Reporter who ruled in favour of the Developer.
This Group was formed to protest the plans to build the 16 houses. We gathered information, data, maps and legislative references which left no doubt as to the historical significance of the battlefield and the area beyond and, its importance on a National and International level.
The new designated Protection Area of 2015 enlarged the protected zone but does not include Viewhill as permission to build was granted in 2014.
Building houses on that site is deeply disrespectful. It is part of a war grave.
The building of 16 houses at Viewhill converts the existing agricultural land use to suburban, subdivided parcels. Possible widening and extensions of roads accessing this property do not comply with the Culloden Muir Conservation Area and if allowed will further damage the area. This is not an appropriate use for this land.
We need to protect that area for future generations. It was a pivotal battle in British history and is of huge international interest and it is incumbent on us to protect it. “The battle actually covered a far greater area than that which the National Trust owns and runs.” HC Ken Gowans
"Culloden is an incredibly sensitive site. The site is very important to a lot of people...it's almost a place of pilgrimage. There's a particular aspect to that landscape that you could quite easily destroy by building something that was unsuitable for that environment.” Tony Pollard
…………………………………………..the fight is NOT over!
See what Culloden Battlefield might look like if development is allowed to take place! A video by a member of the Scottish Diaspora now living in Australia.
A video by GSDC member Paul Jamieson on the 270th anniversary of the Battle of Culloden. The video starts around 6am on the commemoration Saturday after he spent the night walking the Battlefield. It snowed and rained most of the evening and was still overcast. The march and service at the central Cairn and afterwards the patriots departed but some stayed on meeting and greeting old and new friends...
Culloden Lament... 5th October 2016 by Charlie McAulay Robertson
Two years and more have past since the news was broken. Houses to be built on Culloden moor and then the world it was outspoken. Yes, people from around the globe just could not understand. What does posses those corporate minds, that they would desecrate our sacred land. New laws were passed by government that would give it more protection. Which meant to us that there would be consultation before any house erection. But those unscrupulous business men with there eyes set on the brass. Find loopholes in everything, even the laws that the government pass. So here we are today and the problems are still looming. And believe me when I say, Scotland it should be fuming. They want to wipe away our history, while all we can do is lament. As they cover it up with houses aye, tar macadam, bricks an cement.
Listen to Ted Christopher sing "Freedom's Flame" written by Ted for the Culloden Commemoration
Blàr Chùil Lodair, 16 an Giblean 2016. Tha na faireachdainnean agam an-diugh a’ sìneadh eadar irioslachd agus pròis, irioslachd a thaobh an urraim a thug sibh dhomh cuimhne a ghleidheadh air na Gàidheil cliùiteach a thuit ann an Cogadh nan Seumasach, agus pròis a thaobh an dleastanais a bhuilich sibh orm a bhith a’ riochdachadh Comunn Gàidhlig Inbhir-Nis aig Seirbhis Cuimhneachaidh Blàr Chùil Lodair. Le carragh-cuimhne air ar beulaibh agus raon uaigneach tiamhaidh fo ar comhair, tha sinn uile mothachail air an tuiteamas seo a tha a’ sìoladh sìos thugainn thar nan linntean bhon dearbh latha sa’ Ghiblean 1746. Gu deimhinnte ’s e droch latha a bh’ ann, airson Gàidheal air gach taobh dhen t-strì agus mar sin, tha cothrom againn a-rithist an-diugh cuimhne ùrachadh air na daoine foghainteach a chaill am beatha aig Cùil Lodair agus an comharrachadh as ùr.
Gaelic Society Chief, Prof Hugh Cheape, addresses the gathering at the 2016 Memorial Service and Mgr. Maoilios Caimbeul reads ‘Latha Chùil-Lodair’ / ‘Culloden Day’ by Iain Ruadh Stiùbhart.
'Presenting' or 'lining' is very much part of Gaelic Culture. The presenter sings the line, the congregation sings the line after him. Here is a video of the remembrance service at Culloden.
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