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Highland Council plans compulsory purchases from Tesco for Inshes roundabout

By Scott Maclennan

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Inshes Roundabout locator. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Inshes Roundabout locator. Picture: James Mackenzie.

Plans to significantly remodel Inshes roundabout by blocking two major arteries – towards Tesco and Police Scotland – are continuing to move forward despite Highland Council admitting it does not have enough cash.

In a paper to the Inverness committee, scheduled to take place next week, officers are looking for approval to recommend the current plans to a meeting of the full council and proceed with the development.

There is only so far the local authority can go this financial year due to the severe limits in its capital investment budget but it does want to proceed with statutory approvals for compulsory purchase orders and stopping up orders.

There have been numerous objections to the scheme which is yet to receive planning consent while the actual layout has been visualised here showing the two new blocked roads.

The landowners affected have been revealed for the first time and by far the biggest loser, in terms of land, are Aberdeen Standard Investments which with a land acquisition order planned for 13,921 square metres.

The others include Tesco, NHS Highland, Church Of Scotland Trustees, Demure Ltd – Carlton Gaming Clubs, Alltmore Properties Ltd and the Trustees of Mary Mackintosh of Raigmore.

The council recognises there are a number of risks. Garry Smith, strategic lead for infrastructure said: “The scheme budget relies on developer contributions. The land required for the scheme may require a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO).

“The scheme will impact on the existing access for the Inshes retail park. This interface needs to be managed during construction.

“The improvements planned for Inshes junction are essential to ensure a coordinated approach with the planned Transport Scotland A9/A96 Inshes to Smithton project (East Link). Both are committed Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal projects.

“Without improvements at Inshes the East Link road cannot connect into the rest of the network. Timescales outlined in the capital programme are aligned to deliver improvements to Inshes in advance of the East Link project, without which, the committed timescales may not be met.”

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