A NEW YORK best-selling author has joined protestors and spoken out against plans for new homes near the famous battleground of Culloden.

Award-winning US writer Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series which is being turned into a TV show, said she owed it to the men who had fought and died to take a stand against the controversial proposals for Viewhill, Balloch in the Highlands.

The 16-home scheme will be built on the historic location, just a few hundred metres from the battlefield centre.

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The 1746 Battle of Culloden saw Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite cause crushed and more than 1200 men die.

Campaigners fear the development will damage the picturesque Highlands setting on Drumossie Moor and set back archaeological research.

Ms Gabaldon spoke out as filming continued on a multi-pound TV series based on her Outlander novels, set in 18th century Scotland, before the famous battle. She said: "Having walked the battle at Culloden many times over the last 25 years knowing what happened there and having felt the desperate sorrow of the place.

"I find it incomprehensible that anyone who'd set foot there could contemplate such a crass intrusion."