Several SNP councillors could be unable to raise objections against controversial plans for a holiday village near Culloden because their party colleagues campaigned against the proposal.
The £1 million scheme for 13 wooden chalets and a 100-seat restaurant have been recommended for approval by Highland Council, despite strong opposition.
Members of the south planning committee are to be asked to back the development at the historic site.
The plan includes a cafe and shop at the former TreeTops riding centre in Faebuie, a mile-and-a-half from the battlefield.
The chosen location was reputedly the staging ground for government troops preparing for combat Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army.
However, the chance for certain councillors to sink the project may have been dealt a blow.
Several SNP councillors, who it is understood are against the plan and would have been likely to oppose it, have been forced to remove themselves from voting after colleagues campaigned publicly against it.
The Inverness South SNP group had invited members to register their complaints for a collective objection despite warnings such an email risked breaking planning rules on bias.
Concern has been raised that the local SNP branch expressing a view will be seen as them having a party line.
The group posted on its public Facebook page urging people to oppose the application.
It said: “Whether it be a short few lines or an extensive detailed complaint, your voice is urgently required.”
Ken Gowans, an SNP councillor who has campaigned to protect Culloden from inappropriate development, has now removed himself from the process.
He is not a member of the planning committee due to examine the application but would have had the opportunity to speak as a local member.
Mr Gowans said: “It was evident that I had no option but to declare an interest in this application.
“I feel my integrity and impartiality may be considered by others to have been compromised by these instances of overt political intervention.”
Glynis Campbell-Sinclair, who represents the Culloden and Ardersier ward for the SNP, said: “What has happened is that the ability of local SNP members to make a qualified decision has been stymied.”
The holiday park would sit about a mile north of the section of battlefield owned by the National Trust for Scotland, which is among those objecting.
A spokesman for the Inverness South SNP branch remained defiant and suggested those making accusations of impropriety were “myopic, disruptive and rancorous”.
He said: “The branch has acted accordingly with members requests in alerting them to any or all developments, housing applications and planning near, in or around the Culloden Battlefield – which lies within our wards.”
A council spokeswoman said: “At the start of every committee, members are asked to consider whether they have an interest to declare in relation to any item on the agenda for a meeting.
“Members are reminded they can take advice from officers prior to the meeting. To date, our legal team haven’t had any member seek advice.”