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07/05/14 09:00

Culloden planning application scrutiny

Ministers direct that planning applications are notified to them.

Scottish Ministers have written to the Highland Council directing that two current planning applications on sites near the historic Culloden battlefield should be notified to Scottish Ministers should the council be minded to approve.

In the event that the council wishes to approve the applications for residential development, they will now be duty bound to notify the applications to Ministers in the first instance.

This provides Ministers with the opportunity to consider whether the developments proposed raise issues of national significance that would warrant the applications being called in for a decision to be taken at a national rather than local authority level.

Planning Minister Derek Mackay said:

“We value our historic battlefields, which tell the story of our nation’s past and continue to be a place of interest and importance for Scots and visitors alike.

“This is why we have taken the decision to issue notification directions to the Highland Council should they wish to approve the outstanding planning applications to build homes near Culloden battlefield.

“This direction does not commit Scottish Ministers to calling in any such application, but it does reserve their right to intervene.

“We have also set out proposals that will update Scottish Planning Policy to reflect more recent legislation on the protection and management of battlefields.

"Our draft policy, which we consulted on in 2013, makes it clear that planning authorities should protect, conserve and, where appropriate, seek to enhance the key landscape characteristics and special qualities of sites on the current inventory of historic battlefields.

“The finalised Scottish Planning Policy will be published in June 2014.”

Notes to editors

Ministers wrote to the Highland Council on April 23.

The Scottish Government is currently considering all of the responses to the draft Scottish Planning Policy and is due to publish the final version in June 2014.

Culloden is on the Inventory of Battlefields which identifies nationally important battlefields. That is also reflected in Scottish Historic Environment Policy (SHEP).