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Planned River Ness viewing platform to be moved to Caledonian Canal location


By Scott Maclennan

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An artist's impression of the viewing platform in its planned original location overlooking the River Ness.
An artist's impression of the viewing platform in its planned original location overlooking the River Ness.

HIGHLAND Council is hoping to get a hole-in-one for its troubled river artworks scheme with the placement of a viewing platform next to what was once the eighth fairway of Torvean golf course.

The platform, which included a staircase, was originally planned for Bank Street but plans were changed due to health and safety reasons.

The new site would be overlooking the Caledonian Canal instead of the River Ness.

The plan is for construction firm RJ Macleod to install the piece for Highland Council. It would be near a planned new park which is in the pipeline along with new housing and ongoing West Link road works.

Council officers argue that the location is the best available and that it will allow families and others to “interact at a beautiful location” and that it will “blend in and form part of the park”.

Helen Smith from campaign group Open Ness – which has opposed the high-profile My Ness element of the artworks project, where curved walls will be built near Bught Park on either side of the river – said: “The proposed site is within the area covered by Ballifeary Community Council but the council didn’t consider it necessary to ask for our community council’s views.

“Perhaps they knew what our views would be already.”

The community council will discuss it at its next meeting on Monday.

A Highland Council spokeswoman said: “Discussions are under way with the West Link Community Liaison Group and final siting and location design details are being prepared for presentation to the group at its next meeting [in February].

“The art piece is planned to sit as part of the new public park planned as part of the West Link development.

“The installation will be undertaken by the contractor currently undertaking the construction of West Link stage two.

“The art piece is made of robust materials which are designed to have a minimal maintenance. This will be included within the general remit of the council and within the overall responsibility of the Inverness Common Good Fund.”

Related article: It's 'As you were' on Bank Street, Inverness, as viewing platform site reinstated


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