Multi-million pound plans to develop the “gateway to the Highlands” were unveiled to the public yesterday.
Community representatives, school children and members of the public made their way to Charleston Community Centre to look at outline plans for the redevelopment of Inverness west at Torvean.
On show was the indicative masterplan for the development of West Link Phase 2, now known as the Torvean Gateway, following long-awaited construction of the bypass on the outskirts of the city.
The first stage will begin in April with the construction of the five-spur roundabout serving the new swing bridge at Tomnahurich, the A82, the realigned General Booth road and providing access to the canal and rowing club.
The former Torvean – now renamed Kings – golf course will complete its relocation to its new home, leaving two large areas of land for redevelopment.
The council has earmarked this land for a potential new school, a small residential site, community and mixed use, a hotel, and two large park areas.
Local councillors and planners were on hand to answer questions about the development.
Councillor Alex Graham said: “This is a gateway site for the city of Inverness and the decisions made about how it’s developed will have an impact on visitors for decades to come.
“It’s important to preserve green spaces for the future and not to build on everything.
“It’s also good that space has been earmarked for commercial use south of the A82, including a hotel. That creates work for local people.”
Councillor Bill Boyd said: “With the relocation of the first eight holes of the golf course to the other side of the A82 we are presented with a magnificent opportunity to re-develop the space.
“The first eight holes which lie between the canal and the quarry and including a lovely wee loch, Loch Na Sanais will make a great public park at an important gateway.
“But we must provide adequate car-parking and perhaps park-and-ride and active travel facilities for visitors.”
Depute Provost Graham Ross said: “People are contributing lots of ideas, and the more ideas we have the more we have the opportunity to create something that gives people what they require in the area.”
Local parent and childminder Louise Morris said she was excited by the masterplan.
“I would be delighted if the school would go ahead because our schools are really pushed, and also more housing as I’ve been on the council housing list for some time.”
She added: “Another park for all different age ranges of children would be amazing.”
Alastair Mckenzie of Inverness and Culloden Rotary said Torvean offered the perfect space for the club’s project to create a safe cycle training area.
He said: “Inverness is crowded and this is the best space we’ve seen to advance our project.”
The consultation remains open until Friday January 25, with public able to see the master plan and comment online on the Highland Council website.