Photo credit, above: Per-Ragnar Jatko MEDIA COVERAGE September 28, 2018 . . .Inverness Courier Rally over Culloden Battlefield Homes The rally is at Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre at 10am on Saturday, October 13.
Kirkwood Homes has started building 16 homes at Viewhill Farm after securing design approval in May. Although the properties are being built on the ‘inventory boundary’ – a buffer zone drawn up by Highland Council to protect the actual battlefield – protestors claim the new homes might be built over the bodies of Highlanders who died in the 1746 clash. Ahead of construction, archaeological work including photographic recordings and metal detecting, was undertaken by a consultant archaeologist, who was appointed by the developer. Protest leader George Kempick from the Group To Stop The Development at Culloden is convinced an archaeological check “done by just one person” could not be thorough enough.
September 25, 2018 . . . New protest at Culloden as diggers break ground Protestors will gather at the site of a new housing development near Culloden Battlefield as diggers break ground on the land. Work has begun at Viewhill Farm to build 16 new homes following a four-year campaign to halt the work.
July 31, 2018 . . . The Scotsman Scotland ‘risks irrecoverable loss of heritage’ to developers 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.
June 8, 2018 . .The National Trust for Scotland Concerns over new threat to Culloden Conservation Zone “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.”
May 28, 2018 . . . The Scotsman Heritage chiefs ‘do not object’ to holiday park at Culloden Historic Environment Scotland, in its official response to the proposals, said the battle was one of the most important in the history of the British isles with the battlefield holding a “particular emotional connection for many within Scotland and with Scottish connections.”
However, HES said it won’t be objecting to the holiday park proposals given the site was “not central to the events of the battle itself and primarily forms a backdrop to the battlefield landscape.”
May 17, 2018 . . . The Scotsman Final approval given for homes on edge of Culloden Battlefield . . . Developers will move ahead with the construction of the properties after councillors voted through the design of the houses, which sit in a conservation area. The contentious scheme at Viewhill Farm, which sits to the north east of the core battlefield area and visitor centre, was given planning permission by the Scottish Government planning reporter back in 2014.
National Trust for Scotland . . .April 11, 2018 Battle for Culloden’s future begins, says top academic . . . “Culloden had a huge, long-term impact on Scottish history; setting in train a series of events that led to the overthrowing of the clan system and the entire social structure on which the country was built. It’s a special place with a wild landscape and the events that took place here on 16 April 1746 were a human epic. “But this isn’t only about sentiment – historic sites such as Culloden have an incredibly important role to play in bringing society together and delivering economic growth. The ground also still has a lot to teach us about the past: archaeology is advancing year by year and what we can learn from what lies beneath the soil is too. Destroying a landscape like Culloden is akin to burning an archive.”
Sunday Post . . . April 10, 2018 Warning Culloden homes plan will lead to historic site’s ‘gradual degradation’ Speaking ahead of the anniversary of the battle of Culloden, Professor Christopher Duffy believes the plans will encourage further development in the area. Professor Duffy, who taught military history at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, will host a talk at the site on Thursday for the National Trust for Scotland. He said: “It’s very rare to find a battlefield that is so similar to when the fighting actually took place. Culloden is remarkable in that the site is still 90% intact from 272 years ago. “However, these homes are going to result in highly-cluttered views and destroy the atmosphere surrounding the battlefield. “If we’re not careful, we could end up with another instance of what the Americans call ‘Central Park’ syndrome – a patch of green, surrounded by intrusive development.”
The Scotsman . . . April 9, 2018 Are We Going to Lose Culloden? A historian is due in the Highlands this week to discuss whether the future of Culloden Battlefield is at risk. Dr Christopher Duffy will deliver his talk - Are we going to lose Culloden? - at the Battlefield Centre near Inverness on Thursday.
Inverness Courier . . . April 6, 2018 More needed to safeguard Culloden site SOMETHING "more solid" than demonstrations and petitions is needed if Culloden battlefield is to be safeguarded against "unimaginable" development, a leading academic will argue at a commemoration event.
Professor Christopher Duffy will raise the issue of development near the historic site when he appears at a series of events centred around the latest anniversary of the battle.
Press and Journal . . . March 15, 2018 Culloden homes scheme “suspended” by council The controversial decision to approve a new housing development near Culloden Battlefield has been suspended, it has emerged.Members of Highland Council’s South Planning Committee gave Kirkwood Homes the nod to start work on 16 properties with 5-3 vote at Tuesday’s meeting. But in extraordinary scenes straight after the vote, one member told the Press and Journal how he and a colleague had accidentally voted the wrong way. And yesterday, the council suspended approval – and a final decision might not be made until May. Developer Kirkwood Homes said that i t would consult a QC as “the whole situation surrounding the design element has become a circus”. Inverness South Councillor Andrew Jarvie successfully challenged the result after learning of the mistaken voting by his fellow members. A Notice of Amendment was issued suspending the decision after Mr Jarvie collected enough support from fellow councillors. The application will now be heard by the Environment, Development and Infrastructure (EDI) Committee, likely in April or May.
BBC Highlands and Islands . . . March 14, 2018 'Mix-up' in vote on Culloden Battlefield homes Conservative councillor Andrew Jarvie has secured a motion of amendment to have the decision reviewed.The councillor led an attempt at Tuesday's committee meeting to turn down Kirkwood Homes' application for its project at Viewhill, near Inverness. He voted to refuse permission. Mr Jarvie has been successful in getting the signatures he needs to his motion from fellow councillors. The matter will be put before a meeting of Highland Council's environment, development and infrastructure committee.
Press and Journal . . . March 14, 2018 ‘Oops… we didn’t mean to approve Culloden homes’ The scheme for 16 houses near Culloden Battlefield, already the target of a petition and protests, could now be challenged. Highland Council confirmed last night that the vote will stand pending a possible appeal but for now it remains binding. The drama unfolded at the South Planning Committee in Inverness yesterday, where councillors had the choice of allowing the work to go ahead or sending the developer away to carry out a redesign. Inverness South councillor Andrew Jarvie proposed a motion for the redesign and was supported by Ron MacWilliam. Committee chairman Jimmy Gray then proposed an amendment that would pass the application, backed by vice chairwoman Carolyn Caddick. But there was apparent confusion between the motion and amendment, and the vote passed five to three. One councillor, who did not want to be named, said: “I voted the wrong way and I believe that one other councillor voted the wrong way. “I know of two other councillors who were not entitled to vote – but if they had been permitted then they would also have voted the wrong way. “It has been a mix-up as far as democratic desire goes and it was officially the wrong decision, so it definitely needs to be looked at. “I believe there could well have been enough votes to alter the decision in terms of Andrew Jarvie’s motion and, yes, that would be to reject the design.
The Scotsman. . . March 14, 2018 Culloden homes in fresh hearing bid after vote “mistake” The application was voted through - although two SNP councillors now believe they voted the wrong way after a mix up at committee. Councillor Andrew Jarvie (Conservative) said he had until 5pm on Friday to gather in enough support to send the application to the Environment, Development and Infrastructure committee for a new hearing. This would put a halt to any work at the site until the matter was looked at again. Councillor Jarvie said: “I am bitterly, bitterly disappointed that an error led to the wrong outcome.
The Scotsman . . . March 12, 2018 Final bid to stop housing development at Culloden battlefield Campaigners are making a last-ditch effort to prevent the building of homes at the Culloden battlefield site. The Historians Committee On Culloden is calling on the Scottish Government to intervene following claims officials approved planning permission after being given incorrect information. A plan to build homes in the area was rejected in 2014 by Highland councillors, only to then be given permission by a Scottish Government reporter.
The Herald . . . March 11, 2018 Final battle over Culloden housing plan CAMPAIGNERS are making a last-ditch effort to prevent the building of homes at the Culloden battlefield site which they say would cause “catastrophic and irrevocable damage”. The Historians Committee On Culloden is calling on the Scottish Government to have “moral courage” and intervene, amid claims officials approved planning permission after being given incorrect information.
Inverness Courier . . .March 10, 2018 New rallying cry against battlefield homes plan PLANS are brewing for another public protest outside Highland Council headquarters in opposition to a controversial 16-home housing development close to Culloden Battlefield. Moves are afoot to stage the event on Tuesday when councillors are recommended to approve the design of the houses being built by Aberdeen-shire-based Kirkwood Homes on the historic site.
Inverness Courier. . . February 4, 2018 Developer 'extremely disappointed' by deferral of Culloden housing plans THE battle may have been won – but the war continues. Protestors campaigning against building 16 houses a stone’s throw from Culloden Battlefield were given an 11th hour reprieve on Tuesday, thanks to Highland councillors, and were back out in force yesterday – this time at Holyrood.
Inverness Courier . . .January 30, 2018, Decision deferred on Culloden housing plans PROTESTORS campaigning against building 16-houses a stone’s throw from Culloden Battlefield have been given an 11th hour reprieve. Highland Council deferred planning permission on the proposal today, calling on developers Kirkwood Homes to come up with a more sensitive design for the homes, given their proximity to the historic site.
Inverness Courier. . . January 27, 2018 Battle over Culloden Homes Hits the Streets Members of the Group to Stop Development at Culloden (GSDC) plan to gather at 9.30am outside and display their 72,000 name petition to the media and councillors. Campaigners against the development, Cairnfields at Viewhill, have been intensifying their fight with a leafleting campaign throughout Inverness.
The National, December 28, 2017 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.
Press and Journal . . . December 27, 2017 Culloden homes protesters welcome move for plans to be debated in public . . . "But such has been the controversy, local councillors Ken Gowans, Carolyn Caddick and Andrew Jarvie have successfully had the application placed on the agenda for the south planning committee, allowing it to be debated in public. George Kempik, founder of the campaign organisation the Stop Development at Culloden Group, said: “This is the right thing to do."
Inverness Courier. . . December 27, 2017 Battle over Culloden homes will be fought in public CONTROVERSIAL plans for 16 homes beside Culloden Battlefield will be debated in public after a successful move by councillors..."Given the sensitivity of the application, in terms of its location, we felt it only right that it should be determined by the committee and heard in public rather than behind closed doors."
“For many Scots and descendants of the Scottish and Highland diaspora, the site represents a part of their cultural identity and is of spiritual significance to them. This is reflected in the fact that the property is seen as a memorial and site of pilgrimage.
The tangible aspects of the property, the battlefield, the landscape, monuments and structures, provide visitors with a setting for a meaningful connection with these events and contribute to the site’s evocative sense of place. The property is a crucial location to explore the history of the Jacobite rising, the events of the battle and its national and international repercussions.
“Furthermore, as a site of such outstanding historic and cultural significance, Culloden provides an excellent opportunity to explore the nature of identity, conflict and leadership within our world."
The Scotsman . . . December 13, 2017 Archaeologists warn of Culloden relics at housing site In a written response to planners, Ms Cameron said: “This area is sensitive due to its location partly within the inventoried Battlefield of Culloden and although it has been previously developed, it still has the potential to contained buried information relating to the battle and its aftermath.”
The Herald . . . December 5, 2017 Call for Archaeological Investigation of Culloden Moor Homes Site AN archaeological investigation should be carried out at a disused farm on the Battle of Culloden Battlefield site before new homes are built there, the National Trust for Scotland says. The charity believes probing the top layers of Viewfield could unearth debris scattered by soldiers who fought there. A spokesman for the trust, which manages and owns the battlefield, said the Jacobite left flank could clearly be seen from the proposed housing site, adding that the trust “of course remained unhappy” about the decision to grant permission to build 16 homes in the area.
The Scotsman . . . December 5, 2017 Conservationists move to block homes at Culloden The National Trust for Scotland is calling for an archaeological investigation at a disused farm on Culloden battlefield before 16 homes are built. The charity believes investigating the top layers of Viewhill could unearth debris scattered by soldiers who fought and died there.
Press and Journal . . . December 2, 2017 Protest March to be Staged Against Culloden Development "Following a global outcry, supported by Outlander author Diana Gabaldon, a new designated Protection Area enlarged the protected zone for the Culloden Battlefield area, but did not include Viewhill."
November 30, 2017 . . . The Scotsman: Protest March at Culloden Battlefield against housing plan Protestors will gather at Culloden to demonstrate against plans to build 16 news homes close to the core site of the 1746 battle. Plans by Kirkwood Homes to build houses at Viewhill Farm, which sits around 400+ yards north of the main battleground, have been met with resistance.
November 17. 2017 . . . Inverness Courier: Date set for Culloden housing protest CAMPAIGNERS hoping to persuade developers to abandon plans for 16 homes on the boundary of Culloden battlefield are staging a protest at the site next month. The Facebook group called Stop the Development at Culloden is encouraging members and supporters to turn up at the battlefield and march to the housing site at Viewhill Farm, NOW being advertised as Cairnfields, wearing traditional Highland dress.
November 13, 2017. . . Press and Journal: Last-minute bid in battle to save Culloden site Campaigners against a controversial 16-home project, yards from the site of the Battle of Culloden, have made a last-minute plea to the landowner not to sell the property to a housing developer.
November 12, 2017 . . . The Sunday Times: Culloden residents battle the bulldozer It was the site of the last pitched battle on British soil. Now, 270 years later, Culloden is the scene for more conflict as residents mount a last-ditch effort to prevent land that is close to the battleground from being bulldozed for luxury homes.
. . . He said: “I am sure a lot of people see houses on that site as deeply disrespectful. Culloden Battlefield and that greater battlefield area is a very significant piece of land. All we are going to try to do is appeal to their moral compass. “There will be a lot of very upset people if those homes are built. For all we know we could be building houses on a grave.”
April 16, 2017. . . The Scotsman: Culloden Moor, April 16 1746: “The worst place on earth” Today marks the 271st anniversary of the Battle of Culloden, the last pitched battle on British soil, which brought an end to Bonnie Prince Charlie’s doomed bid to return the House of Stuart to the British throne.
April 3, 2017. . . Press and Journal: Weekend of events at Culloden to mark joint anniversaries Organisers have promised a spectacular series of events at Culloden Battlefield this month to mark the joint anniversaries of the conflict and 80 years of National Trust for Scotland guardianship at the site.
March 4 . . . Inverness Courier: Prince intervenes in battlefield homes plan PRINCE Charles is reportedly "very concerned" about controversial plans for new homes on the edge of Culloden Battlefield. It is understood the Prince of Wales has taken an interest in the development and has asked to be kept up-to-date as a patron of the National Trust for Scotland.
Dr. Tony Pollard: "After some soul searching have come out against Culloden housing development. It's on brownfield but is most definitely thin end of wedge." ". . . if I don't say no to this I won't be able to live with myself in ten years time when the corridor to the west is covered with houses. " Dr. Pollard is an archaeologist specialising in the archaeology of conflict. He is Director of the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology at Glasgow University. He is the co-presenter of the BBC series Two Men in a Trench and co-founder of the Journal of Conflict Archaeology.
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