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Green light for revised plans for Inverness suburb

Words: Roger Milne
Nearby Culloden

Highland Council has backed revised plans for a new 1,800 home suburb to the east of Inverness, originally approved in 2010 but which has yet to climb off the drawing board.

The original plan was for a new settlement of 2,500 homes.

The scheme is earmarked for over 75 hectares of land between the A96 Aberdeen road and the communities of Culloden and Smithton.

Developer Hazledene Inverness Ltd’s latest proposals would mean a first phase of 400 new homes, 25 per cent of which will be "affordable".

Also featured are 150 housing association dwellings, a "town centre", provision for four supermarkets, one of which would be a non-food store and an 80-bed hotel. A restaurant and public house complex, a park and ride facility, a community building, offices and a primary school will also be part of the development.

City centre organisation Inverness BID had raised an objection to the proposals for new shops at the site, but the report to councillors said it was “appropriate to provide retail uses within a development of this scale” and that the new retail activities were unlikely to compete with the city centre.

The planners refused to scrap a condition safeguarding land for the new East Link road, to connect the A96 Aberdeen route to the A9 Perth road and the A82 to Fort William, as well as commitments to upgrade Barn Church Road.

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