HERITAGE campaigners are up in arms over controversial plans to build

a holiday resort next to one of the most important battlefields in Scottish history.

The Culloden Battlefield near Inverness marks the moment in 1746 when forces loyal to Bonnie Prince Charlie were defeated by the new British army led by the Duke of Cumberland.

It was the final act of the Jacobite Uprisings against the Union of the English and Scottish crowns in 1707, which saw the deaths of about

1,600 men.

Under the plans submitted by developers Inverness Paving, a new four-star, £1 million holiday village with 13 lodges, a 100-seat restaurant and cafe and shop will be built.

However, the Culloden site is now protected by the National Trust for Scotland (NTS), which conserves places of historic interest or natural beauty.

It is also home of the Clan Fraser stone, a key site in the Outlander television drama, set in the Jacobite era.

The Scottish Government say of the battlefield: “The battle holds a prominent place within Scottish culture, frequently commemorated in art, music, literature and film.

“The battlefield includes one of the most visited tourist sites in the Highlands, and holds a particular emotional connection for many within Scotland and with Scottish connections.”

Some historians insist the site warrants special protections or should even be considered a war grave.

Campaigners against the holiday village plans claim the development

will cause “sheer desecration” to

the battlefield.

They say the location was understood to be the staging ground for government troops preparing to do battle against Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army.

The Group To Stop Development At Culloden has campaigned forcefully

for the proposals to be scrapped after being submitted.

Initial proposals were submitted to Highland Council in 2018 but after 87 objections, council bosses refused the plans in May last year.

But Inverness Paving has resubmitted them.

George Kempik , spokesman for

the Group To Stop Development At Culloden, said the revised application was a “kick in the teeth” following the success to get the initial plans refused.

Michael Nevin, from the 1745 Association, a group that investigates Jacobite history, said: “There is a risk

of profound, irreversible physical damage to the battlefield and

associated archeology.”

Mr Nevin also stressed there would be a negative impact on the ambience of the site because of noise and light pollution from the holiday village.

Marion Collins, who lives nearby, said: “Culloden is a precious area of historical and national heritage, important to the whole of Scotland and throughout the world as an anchor to our past and now a place of peace.

“Any decision to ‘popularise for profit’ is abhorrent.

“There will be another battle for Scots to fight to stop this development. Pride over profit every time for Culloden.”

Another local, Lili Rehak, said: “Being that the world is busy now with the pandemic, perhaps the owners decided it would be a good time to sneak another shot in for the same work, shockingly.” And ina message

to planners she added: “Please do

the right thing and refuse this application again.

“I would ask that it is suggested to the owners they put their property for sale to Historic Scotland, or if they are able, donate said property to the battlefield.”

Dr David Learmouth added: “The site is exactly in the midst of where the British reserve line stood during the Battle of Culloden and from where mounted horse regiments were sent to the East and West of the British lines to ride down or flank the Jacobite lines.

“The applicant has singularly failed, in the current application, to explain how the grounds for the previous refusal would now be in accordance with local planning policy.?

Highland Council will determine the plans in due course.

Inverness Paving Ltd was approached for comment.