A NEW bridge over the River Ness opened in September replacing the old suspension bridge which had been demolished two years previously as it was unsuitable to carry modern traffic into the town.
It was symbolic of many other developments which were beginning to change the face of the town centre forever although many were controversial including the proposed relocation of the livestock auction markets in Millburn Road.
There were also strong objections to proposed redevelopment in the Bridge Street, Bank Street and Church Street area by companies based in London and the south of Scotland.
During a public inquiry ordered by the Secretary of State for Scotland into Inverness Town Council's Development Plan, the local authority found itself subjected to severe criticism for a lack of consultation and negotiation with property owners affected by the proposals.
In a strongly-worded leader, The Inverness Courier accused the council's planning committee of selling the town's birthright to financial brigands.
"With an eye to the main chance, smart-alec business men who live over the hills and far away can apply for planning permission to develop large and important areas of Inverness, can serve notices on owners of properties and businesses, and can be assured that the Town Council, or their Planning Committee, will give them a warm welcome and the planning permission they desire irrespective of what the owners of the properties and the proprietors of the businesses have to say in protest."