Holiday park at Culloden should go ahead, say officials

A controversial bid to build a holiday park within the historic boundary of Culloden Battlefield has been backed by planning officials.

Thursday, 8th October 2020, 12:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th October 2020, 12:52 pm
The holiday park sits around a mile north of the section of battlefield owned by National Trust for Scotland (pictured), with the conservation charity amongst those who objected to the plans. PIC: Pixabay.
The holiday park sits around a mile north of the section of battlefield owned by National Trust for Scotland (pictured), with the conservation charity amongst those who objected to the plans. PIC: Pixabay.

Proposals for a holiday village near Culloden Moor, which features 13 wooden chalets and a 100-seat restaurant, have been recommended for approval by Highland Council, despite strong opposition.

Councillors will take the final decision next month.

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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, with the conservation charity among those objecting to the plans, and within the historic battlefield boundary and Culloden Muir conservation area.

Original plans for the holiday park were turned down in May 2019 on environmental grounds but a fresh application has now been accepted by planners after amendments were made.

Highland Council’s principal planner, John Kelly, said in a report: “It is our intention to present the application to members at the South PAC meeting on November 3, 2020, with a recommendation to grant planning permission”.

Councillor Ken Gowans, who worked on getting the Culloden Muir Conservation Area in place to stop inappropriate developent in the sensitive area, told the Press and Journal:

“The conservation area is not intended to stop development of say single houses or farm structures, but it is designed to protect the area against what we would consider to be larger scale developments of three houses or more – and this development is of course significantly larger.

“I am very disappointed and disheartened that on this occasion, with such a scale of development, that Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has chosen not to raise any objection as a statutory consultee.

“Given that it is within the conservation area, I would have thought that would have had a significant bearing on their opinion."

National Trust for Scotland objected to the application on the grounds of scale of development and the precedent that could be set by a successful planning application for land within the conservation area.

The organisation has spoken out strongly against the “creep” of development around the battlefield.

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