Out-Law News 1 min. read

Scottish ministers reserve right to intervene over Culloden applications

Highland Council will be required to notify Scottish ministers if it is minded to approve two applications for residential development on sites near Culloden battlefield in the Scottish Highlands.

Scottish ministers have written to the Council and directed it to notify them if they intend to approve the applications. This will enable the ministers to consider whether the developments proposed raise issues of national significance and to decide whether they should be called in for determination at national level.

Culloden is on the Inventory of Battlefields which identifies nationally important battlefields.

“We value our historic battlefields, which tell the story of our nation’s past and continue to be a place of interest and importance for Scots and visitors alike," said Scottish planning minister Derek Mackay in a statement.

“This is why we have taken the decision to issue notification directions to the Highland Council should they wish to approve the outstanding planning applications to build homes near Culloden battlefield. This direction does not commit Scottish ministers to calling in any such application, but it does reserve their right to intervene," he said.

Mackay said that the Scottish government had also set out proposals to update Scottish Planning Policy to reflect more recent legislation on the protection and management of battlefields.

"Our draft policy, which we consulted on in 2013, makes it clear that planning authorities should protect, conserve and, where appropriate, seek to enhance the key landscape characteristics and special qualities of sites on the current inventory of historic battlefields," he said.

Mackay said that the finalised Scottish Planning Policy will be published in June 2014.

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