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Culloden Battlefield is a war grave and protection of it should be enshrined in law, says campaign group


By Louise Glen

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A call has been made to protect Culloden Battlefield, and recognise it as a war grave, by enshrining it in law.

A petition set up by the Facebook group, Group to Stop the Development at Culloden (GSDC) have had more than 4000 signatories demanding a change in the way in which development on battlefields are dealt with.

George Kempick who started the petition said unless battlefields of national and international importance, with Culloden at the forefront of his mind, were offered 'differentiated status' planning applications would continue to threaten their future.

Culloden Battlefield was the site of the last uprising of the Jacobites against the British Government army on April 16 1746, it is believed that more than 2000 lives were lost.

Calling the current protections offered to battlefields as 'woefully inadequate', Mr Kempik said: "In 2011, Culloden Battlefield was formally included in Historic Environment Scotland’s (HES) Inventory of Scottish battlefields.

"A comprehensive inventory of Scotland’s most important battlefields, supported through maps and documents, led to a clear identification of specific areas in Scotland determined to be of national and international importance.

Protest march at Culloden Battlefield against the development by Inverness Properties , with organiser George Kempik laying a wreath for the Fallen .. Picture: Gary Anthony. Image No.024861.
Protest march at Culloden Battlefield against the development by Inverness Properties , with organiser George Kempik laying a wreath for the Fallen .. Picture: Gary Anthony. Image No.024861.

"Since then however, it has become increasingly evident that HES has consistently neglected to consider the impact, or detail considered objections to an ever-increasing number of planning applications, new and often repeated, inside their own designated inventory of Scottish battlefields, including but not restricted to Culloden."

He continued: "It is the assertion of the GSDC that HES have singularly failed to interpret their own designations with respect to planning laws that equate Scottish battlefields to any other ordinary piece of land in Scotland. That is their mandate and they have failed, most miserably."

He stated: "Recently, this has become evident most notably at Culloden, where HES failed to object to developments at Viewhill, Culchunaig and Treetops.

"Whilst a modern 16-house luxury house development now sits like an eyesore on Culloden Battlefield, organisations including the GSDC, took exception to HES's position and contributed to ensure the latter two applications did not materialise."

Protest march at Culloden Battlefield against the development by Inverness Properties , Ciara Esplin-Logan(10)shows her support .. ... Picture: Gary Anthony. Image No.024861.
Protest march at Culloden Battlefield against the development by Inverness Properties , Ciara Esplin-Logan(10)shows her support .. ... Picture: Gary Anthony. Image No.024861.

He said: "A new bill needs to be passed, giving Culloden and all Scottish battlefields much greater planning protection. Parts of the land within Scottish battlefields must be officially categorised as war graves.

"All Scottish battlefields must be categorised as of national importance."

To sign the petition visit https://www.change.org/p/the-scottish-government-meaningful-planning-protection-for-scottish-battlefields

Read more on Culloden Battlefield here.


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