"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."
National Trust for Scotland has ramped up its calls for better protection of Scotland’s heritage as a new Planning Bill gathers pace at Holyrood. Chief executive Simon Skinner, chief executive of NTS, claimed the new legislation signalled a “point of no return” for the conservation of historic sites such as Culloden Battlefield. He questioned whether existing designations had any weight in protecting sensitive sites from development.
July 31, 2018 . . . The Times We must battle to protect heritage from developers Three months ago I wrote in this newspaper about our fears for one of Scotland’s most important landmarks: Culloden. Despite the years being kind to the battlefield, preserving it much as it was nearly 300 years ago, events this year appear certain to lead to its degradation.At the time, I argued the initial plan to build a dozen homes on nearby Viewhill Farm was not a fatal blow in itself — rather, it would set a precedent for further development. Sadly, that has proven to be the case. Since then, an additional four development applications have been submitted, all of which are located in Culloden’s designated conservation area. These may encourage even more submissions, eventually leading to a circle of buildings which, if left unchecked, would eventually widen, join up and constrict the core site we protect. One need only look to Bannockburn battlefield as an example of how this could pan out. At the same time, councillors in the Highlands have approved the development of a golf course on the Coul Links at Embo. If left unchallenged by government, this decision could destroy the integrity of rare coastal habitats and damage an area of such environmental significance that it falls within the Loch Fleet Site of Scientific Special Interest. These recent cases follow others and now we find ourselves at a crossroads, with a simple choice: do we want to protect our outstanding historical places and heritage and give them the legal protection they require?
“This will be the first big test of the council’s initiative to try and protect what remains of historic battlefield and its setting through a conservation zone. “The zone could not be applied retrospectively to the Viewhill housing development but we hope that it will prevent further unsympathetic encroachment on this pivotal site for Scotland’s story. “Our great concern about Viewhill is that it would set a precedent that developers could exploit, leading to the absolute loss over time of an historic landscape. If conservation zone status does not prevent this development, it confirms our opinion that Scotland’s planning laws must be completely overhauled if we are to have a fair chance of protecting places that our vital to our heritage and in themselves intrinsic to our tourism economy.”
Please SIGN the new petition directed to Scottish Government to introduce legislation to preserve all land indicated by the HES Inventory of Historic Battlefields...on which Culloden Battlefield is clearly indicated!
Anger at plans for development near Culloden Moor This new proposal is for conversion of the existing TreeTop equestrian centre, which has little intrusive impact, to enable construction of holiday, leisure and hospitality facilities, including 13 lodges, a cafe/shop, reception building, laundry and restaurant. Diarmid Hearns, the (Scottish National) Trust’s head of policy, said: ‘This will be the first big test of the council’s initiative to try and protect what remains of historic battlefield and its setting through a conservation zone.
February 5, 2018 . . . UPDATE on Treetops Development From the Architects: HRI Munro. . . "Preliminary imagery of our new Treetops lodges near Culloden, part of a new visitor / restaurant project currently in the planning process. Each elevated lodge will provide luxury space for 2-4 visitors, a secluded pinewood setting and an outside hot tub!"
Treetops Riding Stables wants to convert their rural property into 14 holiday chalets, add a 100 person restaurant and several outbuildings. This project is within the 2015 Conservation Area and within the Battlefield Boundary! This is just "down the street" from the entrance to the Battlefield. When this project comes up for public comment...we will let you know!!! Read the planning documents See the map
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.
Petition letter to David Sutherland, Directors at Kirkwood Homes Ltd and Historic Environment Scotland ". . . We feel, especially with all the media and public interest we are generating, that taking up such a course could potentially bring you great acclaim and honours. If you were to donate the land to the National Trust for Scotland, or another charity of equal standing, we assure you that we would make as much of that story, as we have done with the potential desecration of the land by building houses on it."
November 3, 2017: Statement from Group to Stop Development at Culloden click on headline to read The Group to Stop Development at Culloden is aware that the 16 house building development at the Viewhill Farm site is now in the amended planning stage. We continue to be totally opposed to this development which sits just 400+ meters from the Culloden Battlefield Enclosure and is where the last pitched battle on British soil took place.
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
We wish to inform you all that there is currently work being done at Viewhill - site of the proposed 16 houses. The developer is in the process of demolishing farm buildings - these demolitions are in compliance with conditions set by the Scottish Government's Reporter when planning permission was given.. While huge strides have been gained in the protection of the battlefield with the new larger area map of 2015, protection does not include Viewhill Farm. Unfortunately, the developer had already been given permission to build the 16 homes
The developer is proposing amendments to the original planning application and it is the hope of this group that concerned Highland Councillors and the public will be given every opportunity to comment.
We have been extremely vocal against any houses being built on the area of the Battlefield since the beginning of January 2014. Our position has not changed. Expect us to be vocal. We will keep members updated as we continue to evaluate the situation.
Developer Master Plan
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.
April 15, 2016: National Trust for Scotland On the 16th April 1746 the Battle of Culloden took place on Drumossie Muir, near Inverness. The battle lasted less than an hour and saw Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s Jacobite army defeated by a Government army led by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland.
Over 18,000people have signed our on-line petition, including Sir Kenneth Calman, former 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!
As of February 2015 the petition is no longer active but remains a strong statement regarding keeping development away from Culloden Battlefield!
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