A BONNIE Prince Charlie impersonator joined a protest against the building of 16 new homes near the historic Culloden battlefield site.

Around 50 people took part in the demonstration yesterday at the battlefield, near Inverness, where the Jacobite uprising of 1746 was defeated. Opponents to the development fear that the construction of new properties around 400 metres from the centre of the site will damage the setting of the field, where more than 2000 men lost their lives in what turned out to be the last pitched battle fought on ­British soil. They are also concerned it could potentially lead to further development.

Colin Williamson, spokesman for the campaign group, said: "There is a lot of frustration and anger but it was a very moving and passionate event. Our policy is that we will fight on until we can fight no more."

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Mr Williamson said that one protestor had travelled from Canada to take part in the event. "It shows the depth of the passion", he added.

Highland Council had initially turned down a planning application to build the new housing estate near the battlefield. However the developer, Inverness Properties, had an appeal upheld by the Scottish Government.

The council has indicated that it will not challenge the decision in the Court of Session after its earlier stance left it with a bill of £11,000 when it had to pay the developer's cost of bringing a successful appeal. A petition against the development has attracted almost 17,000 signatures. Historic Scotland has not objected to the planning application.