There are calls for the Scottish Government to intervene to protect a Scottish battlefield before its setting is ruined by a proposed new housing development half a mile away.

The remains of around between 1300 and 2000 men are thought to lie beneath the ground on Culloden Moor, where the Jacobite dream ended in April 1746, changing British history.

A campaign of unspeakable cruelty against the Highland people began, heralding the end of the clan system.

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Last year Highland Council refused Inverness Estates plan to build 16 homes at nearby Viewhill Farm. But following an appeal by the developers, a Scottish government-appointed reporter has now indicated that he thinks planning permission should be granted with conditions.

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS), which manages the battlefield and centre, objected to the plan. The conservation charity said it was disappointed and concerned that encroaching development on Culloden Battlefield, a site of outstanding heritage significance, could further erode "its unique sense of place." Alexander Bennett, the NTS's Countryside North Group Manager added: "If this development goes ahead then there are others waiting to develop alongside it so, before we know where are we could end up with a Central Park, New York surrounded by houses on all sides . That's our worst case scenario.

"So we felt obliged in the national interest to object to it."

But a spokesman for the developers said: "What we propose will enhance the surroundings of the Battlefield, as Historic Scotland appreciated when they opted not to object.

"We will continue to run Viewhill Farm as a farm. It is a 200 acre site and this building affects only a few acres of it".

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "The reporter has issued an intentions notice which means planning permission will be granted subject to an agreement being reached between the council and the appellant to secure contributions to affordable housing and improvements to cycling and footpaths.