Protest march against plans to build homes on Culloden site

A group protesting at plans to build homes on part of the historic Culloden battlefield are holding a march next weekend.

The group to Stop Development at Culloden have announced their plants to hold a march to protest against Kirkwood Homes Ltd’s proposal to build 16 homes at Viewhill Farm. The proposed development is called Cairnfields.

Next Saturday, 9 December, marchers will proceed from the entrance of the National Trust, Culloden Battlefield to Viewhill Farm commencing at 10am.

In 2014, an Inverness property developer presented plans to Highland Council for a 16 unit housing development at Viewhill, some 400 metres from Culloden Battlefield.

The proposed development was rejected by Highland Council. When the developer appealed, the matter was then decided by a Government-appointed reporter who ruled in favour of the developer.

The protest group was formed in 2014 to protest the plans to build the 16 houses.

Developers plan to build on part of the Culloden site

They 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.

The group feel that building houses on that site is deeply disrespectful as it is part of a war grave.

They argue that building 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. The protestors is is not an appropriate use for this land.

The group say it is important 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.

Councillor Ken Gowans said: ‘The battle actually covered a far greater area than that which the National Trust owns and runs.’

Dr Tony Pollard, director of the internationally renowned Centre for Battlefield Archaeology at the University of Glasgow, added: ‘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.’