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Plans to build 90 homes in Inverness approved despite traffic concerns

Inverness South councillor, Andrew Jarvie in April 2019 before his massive weight loss. Picture by Sandy McCook.
Inverness South councillor, Andrew Jarvie in April 2019 before his massive weight loss. Picture by Sandy McCook.

An application for 90 houses near one of the busiest junctions in Inverness has been approved by Highland councillors by a slim majority.

South planning councillors yesterday gave the nod to DMPM Services Ltd’s application in principle for 60 private homes and full application for 30 affordable homes on land south-east of Simpsons Garden Centre, despite extensive discussions about the dangerous roads residents will have to navigate.

The development is bounded on one side by the A9, raising noise issues, and the B9006 Culloden Road and Drumossie Brae.

Footways on one side of the road and traffic islands have been proposed to help pedestrians, including children looking to get to the nearest primary school, Cradlehall.

Planning officers revealed that between 10,000 and 13,000 cars travel along Culloden Road every day.

Local councillors Andrew Jarvie and Carolyn Caddick requested unsuccessfully that the committee carry out a site visit to see the situation for themselves.

Mr Jarvie said: “With that number of cars and the A96 link road coming in the bottom, this poorly thought-out development at the top will just hem people in.

“This junction needs completely redesigned to deal with the current traffic, yet the planners have thought it appropriate to let them off with just straightening part of the road.

“This will do nothing to solve the traffic flow, and on top of that, they expect kids to walk to school through this. It is an accident waiting to happen.”

Mrs Caddick said she felt reasonable mitigation was proposed to deal with her concerns about noise from the A9 and flooding on ground below Simpsons, but her real concern was with the roads.

She said: “This traffic situation will undoubtedly get worse, especially with Simpsons and the college campus expanding, together with drivers using Drumossie Brae to avoid the traffic challenges at Inshes Junction.

“If you add to that another 100 plus cars wanting to turn on and off Drumossie Brae and children trying to cross both the B6009 to get to school at an island or across the Drumossie Brae at an island to get to the bus stop and the traffic controlled crossing further up the road, there will be an accident.”

Mrs Caddick added concerns about where children in the new estate would go to school.

She said: “Milton of Leys is full, Cradlehall and Inshes are full and they can’t all be extended. In terms of secondaries, Culloden is full and Millburn almost full.”

Committee chairman Jimmy Grey said: “We need to house people with almost 10,000 people on the waiting list, we can’t resolve road issues on the basis on any one application, these are strategic issues.”

Councillor Bill Boyd said: “We shouldn’t pass it on to strategic matters, if we’re going to house people we need to get them safely across roads.”

Mr Jarvie, seconded by Mrs Caddick moved for refusal of the application, but was knocked down by 6 votes to 5.

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