A petition has been launched demanding the Scottish Government passes a Bill to protect Culloden battlefield and other historic conflict sites from developers.
The move comes just days after Highland Council unanimously refused a renewed proposal to transform part of the Culloden battlefield into a holiday complex with more than a dozen lodges, a cafe, shop and restaurant.
Culloden is sacred to many people as the place where, on 16 April 1746, the Jacobite rising led by Prince Charles Edward Stuart was crushed by Government troops in the last pitched battle fought on British soil.
Despite its inclusion in Historic Environment Scotland’s (HES) Inventory of Scottish Battlefields, the landscape has been the subject of a series of new and repeated planning applications, including one development now described as a “blot” on the historic landscape.
‘A new bill needs to be passed’
Campaigners The Group To Stop Development At Culloden (GSDC) say the current level of planning protection afforded to Culloden and other Scottish battlefields is “woefully inadequate”, and have now called for the historic sites to be differentiated from other land when considering planning applications.
A GSDC spokesman said: “HES, an agency supposedly set up with the singular aim to preserve Scottish culture and heritage for future generations, has failed to file substantiated objections to major developments on Scottish Battlefields and with this in mind GSDC insist the time has come that Scottish Ministers must duly rectify this in Scottish law.
“A new bill needs to be passed, giving Culloden and all Scottish Battlefields much greater planning protection.”
The petition on the Change.org website calls for Scottish battlefields to be categorised as of ‘National Importance’ and some locations to be officially recognised as war graves.