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."
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.
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)
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.
November 5, 2019 . . .The Scotsman Culloden: Rejected holiday park plans for historic site revived once again Plans have been revived to build a holiday park within the historic boundary of Culloden Battlefield. An application to develop the Treetops Stables at Feabuie with 13 wooden cabin and a 100-seat restaurant, plus other leisure attractions, was rejected by planning officers at Highland Council in May. It attracted objections around the world given a growing concern over development in the wider Culloden area. The site sits around one kilometre north of the section of the battlefield owned by National Trust for Scotland but it falls within the historic boundary of the greater battlefield and the Culloden Muir Conservation Area.
October 5, 2019 . . . Press and Journal Controversial Culloden Treetops holiday village plans resurface A controversial holiday village and restaurant development near Culloden Battlefield is back on the cards – just months after being thrown out by Highland Council planners. A £1million proposal for four-star holiday lodges and a 100-seat restaurant at TreeTops Stables, Faebuie, on Culloden Moor, was rejected in May by officials under delegated power after almost 100 objections were lodged.
November 5, 2019 . . . The Scotsman Culloden: Scottish Government considers position on luxury home by battlefield Plans to build a luxury home on the fringes of Culloden Battlefield are being reviewed by the Scottish Government. The application to convert a steading at Culchunaig to create a home, featuring a hot tub and zen garden, were approved by councillors in September. The steading overlooks the part of the battlefield owned by National Trust of Scotland with claims the land on which it stands was significant action during the battle between Jacobites and the British Army in April 1746.
September 17 . . . The Scotsman Luxury home plan for Culloden Battlefield approved by councillors Councillor Andrew Jarvie (Conservative), of Inverness South ward, told the meeting: "The position of Historic Environment Scotland and National Trust for Scotland is completely inadequate. "They have taken into account only the national policy - there is no reference whatsoever to the Culloden Muir Conservation Area. They have completely missed out the policy for development in this area.
September 17 . . . Inverness Courier Culloden home bid sparks anger THE National Trust for Scotland (NTS) and Historic Environment Scotland (HES) have been slammed over not objecting to a large house to be built “quite literally over the graves of fallen clansmen” at Culloden. That is after a planning application was lodged to turn an old barn at Culchunaig into a “sprawling, two storey, large, modern luxury villa with a metal seamed roof.” The application goes before Highland Council’s south planning applications committee today.
The Scotsman . . . September 13, 2019 Anger as luxury home on historic Culloden Battlefield backed by officials Plans to build a luxury home within the historic boundary of Culloden Battlefield have been backed by officials with historians describing the development as a appalling intrusion of a national war grave. Planners at Highland Council said the steading conversion at Culchunaig, which will feature a hot tub, zen garden, fire pit and gaming and chill out zone, could be built subject to conditions.
Press and Journal . . . September 13, 2019 Row brews over steading conversion on Culloden Moor The Culchuinaig, Westhill, is within both the Culloden Moor Conservation Area and the Inventory of Historic Battlefields area. Applicant Mark Hornby said he grew up in the area, currently lives there and wants to convert the steading into a home for his family. He said: “We had planning consent four years ago and that has just expired, so this is a renewal with some design alterations. We feel it’s a sympathetic conversion of an existing building with little or no impact on the surrounding environment.” The proposals have sparked anger among groups endeavouring to protect areas involved in the battle of Culloden from creeping development. The Historian’s Council on Culloden (HCC), formed in 2017 to research Culloden battle action which occurred on ground outside the current National Trust for Scotland (NTS) property, says the area contains far too much critical information and remains of the battle and its immediate aftermath to allow its destruction.
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.
Click below to make a donation via Pay Pal to the Stop Development at Culloden Group
This website is offered to the public by the non-political Group to Stop the Development at Culloden Battlefield. Please contact us via the Contact Us page on this website or via email, top right of page.