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Inverness Caledonian Thistle need to overcome 30 councillors to pass battery farm project

By Scott Maclennan

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The site of the planned ICT battery storage scheme with chairman Ross Morrison (inset).
The site of the planned ICT battery storage scheme with chairman Ross Morrison (inset).

Inverness Caledonian Thistle will have to battle at least 30 Highland Councillors if they are to secure the future of a project they say is vital to putting the club on a sustainable footing.

In what is one of the biggest clashes in recent years in the north, the 30 members of Highland Council want to review a decision that was earlier taken by Highland Council.

It stems from a bid for planning permission for a battery storage scheme near Fairways Business park in a deal worth seven figures that would have allowed the restructuring of the business side of the club and stabilise it into the future.

But just days after the south planning committee granted permission it was swept away in a bureaucratic move by two councillors – the chairman and vice chairman of the same committee who voted against the plan.

The two councillors Thomas MacLennan and Paul Oldham, despite both being in charge of the committee, decided the process was flawed and “not a good look” for the council so they sought a review.

In all, 13 SNP councillors, five from the Liberal Democrat Group, four from Independent group, three each from the Greens and the Tories and two from the Highland Alliance supported the review into the planning decision.

The reaction of the club was fury with chairman Ross Morrison saying “this absolutely stinks” before adding that he feared those involved are “hellbent on killing the club by abusing their power”.

We can also confirm that the crunch meeting is set for March 14 but the club are challenging it starting from tonight with a meeting of fans, shareholders and sponsors where Mr Morrison will look for support.

Prior to tonight’s meeting, Mr Morrison said: “Having spoken on numerous occasions in the past regarding the critical importance of this project to our entire future, including most recently in person at the last ICTST open meeting, and following the bewildering behaviour of certain Highland Councillors in seeking to overturn a democratically lawful decision to award the club with planning permission for the ICT Battery Farm, I feel we must enlighten our fans regarding just what has been going on in relation to this most crucial matter and I will answer all and any questions relating to the Battery Farm after we give our presentation and I hope as many folk as possible can attend”.

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