A controversial decision to approve detailed plans for a housing development within the Culloden Moor conservation area will be revisited by Highland councillors next week.
In March, councillors appeared to vote in favour of changes made by Kirkwood Homes to their proposed 16-home development at Viewhill – but two later said that in a moment of confusion during the voting procedure they had voted in favour of the changes by mistake.
Their votes would have swung the decision against Kirkwood’s proposals.
The housing development on Culloden Moor has been fraught with emotion and controversy since planning permission in principle was first granted for Viewhill by the Scottish Government in 2014.
Campaigners say the site at Viewhill farm encompasses part of the battlefield and as such should be respected as a war grave.
Procedure allows for the amended application to go before Highland Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure (EDI) committee next Thursday for determination.
Inverness South councillor Ken Gowans said referring the plans to EDI to determine risked setting a dangerous precedent.
He said: “A notice of amendment was placed which happens if you believe a decision taken in committee to be flawed. It then goes before the parent committee. EDI has some different councillors on it from the original South Planning committee, and some who have already voted, so the outcome is anyone’s guess.
“The risk now is that if planning applications don’t go the way the councillors want there is a risk of notices of amendment everywhere.
“A mistake was made and I believe the intended decision should have been respected.”
Meanwhile, planning permission has now been formally sought for a second development on Culloden Moor.
Treetops Riding Stables at Faebuie want to convert their equestrian centre into a holiday and leisure facility, with 13 lodges, a café/shop, reception, laundry and restaurant.
Campaigners say the development is within the battlefield boundary, and that a holiday park has no place there.
Objections have been lodged citing the risk of “profound, irreversible and physical damage to the battlefield and associated archaeology”.
Objectors also say there will be a negative impact on the ‘ambience and sense of place related to the battlefield through noise and light pollution.’