Scotland’s largest conservation charity has joined the campaign against plans to build holiday lodges on Culloden Moor.

The proposed development at Treetop Stables on Culloden Moor could lead to the “absolute loss” of an “historic landscape”, leaders at the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) warned as they announced they had submitted a formal objection.

Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite forces were decisively defeated by Government troops on Culloden Moor in April 1746.

If approved, the plan by Inverness Paving Limited would see the construction of holiday and hospitality facilities, including 13 lodges, a cafe and shop.

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Concern comes after Highland Council recently gave permission for 16 houses to be erected at nearby Viewhill Farm.

Diarmid Hearns, NTS head of policy, said Highland Council’s response would be the “first big test” of its commitment to protecting what remains of the historic battlefield through a conservation zone.

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“The zone could not be applied retrospectively to the Viewhill housing development but we hope that it will prevent further unsympathetic encroachment on this pivotal site for Scotland’s story,” he said.

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“Our great concern about Viewhill is that it would set a precedent that developers could exploit, leading to the absolute loss over time of an historic landscape.

“If Conservation Zone status does not prevent this development, it confirms our opinion that Scotland’s Planning Laws must be completely overhauled.”