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1745 Association expresses strong opposition to Tree Tops Development Proposals at Culloden...

The 1745 Association (a voluntary association established in 1946 to research the Jacobite period, record and preserve the memory of those who partaken in it) strongly objects to the Tree Tops development proposals which would change a small equestrian centre at Culloden into a major holiday, leisure and hospitality development including 13 lodges, a cafe, shop, laundry and even a restaurant.


The Association has formally lodged its objection to the planning application (Reference 18/01399/FUL) with The Highland Council.  In its official objection, the Association has pointed out that previous planning applications for small scale developments such as single houses or stables at this same site have been refused or withdrawn.   The Association's concerns include the following:

  1. There is no need for this change in the local area.  Any jobs created will be largely menial, low wage hotel jobs which are plentiful in the area already.
  2. The local infrastructure is not designed to accommodate the level of traffic that a 100-seat restaurant, lodges and a spa would generate.  The current road is just a little wider than a single track in places and often experiences enough dangerous speeding traffic as it is. 
  3. A major commercial development of this sort would also destroy conservation efforts that have been ongoing for generations and compromise the conservation area and the reasons for it being implemented by Highland Council.
  1. There are other available sites in the area which would be better locations for such a development as they do not suffer from chronic flooding, or have insufficient infrastructure, or are located on a designated protected historic area.



Mr Nevin, a professional economist, commented that,


 "It is a major concern that this development is being proposed so soon after the approval of the View Hill residential development within the Culloden Battlefield, which we also opposed to.  The Tree Tops proposal represents a significant threat to the integrity of the battlefield site," commented the Association's Chairman Mr Michael Nevin.


"Official statistics show that visitor numbers to Culloden almost doubled from 97,000 in 2014 to 180,000 in 2017, bringing spending power and jobs into the great city of Inverness and its neighbourhoods. You don't have to be Nostradamus to predict that, if Highland Councillors continue to wave through entirely inappropriate residential and leisure developments within the Culloden Conservation Area, visitor numbers will start to decline, jeopardising the jobs and livelihoods of the people whom they were elected to serve."


Even more important than this, if Tree Tops proceeds, it will mark a further step in the progressive destruction of a battlefield of national importance and international resonance.  “Many of our members consider this to be sacred ground, and, lest we forget, it is a war grave."

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