Closed petition PE1852: Increase planning protection for Scottish battlefields

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to designate historic battlefields with a heritage status and implement a stricter planning framework to protect them.

Previous action taken

We have sought the support of local MSPs and Councillors, liaised with groups who are seeking to protect other battlefield sites in Scotland and campaigned to have these sites recognised as war graves.

We have also engaged with National Trust for Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland to express our grave concerns about the ease of obtaining planning permission on or near important historical sites, under the current legislation.

Background information

Since the planning application at Viewhill, near Culloden, was approved, there has been an increase of applications for holiday resorts and residential proposals that, if granted, would see a huge increase in the footprint of development at Culloden Moor. We are aware from our contact with other groups that this is not an issue unique to Culloden Moor battlefield. Other areas of historical significance are under threat from developers across Scotland.

We do not believe that current planning law/regulations safeguards sites of historic significance. We believe planning applications for such sites should be considered out-with the routine planning considerations, and that a more stringent procedure be established, in order to preserve them for future generations.

There is usually no shortage of other, much more suitable land in the area around battlefields that could be developed without historical detriment. Therefore, we do not believe that awarding battlefields special protection would adversely impact local economies. In fact, we believe it could benefit local economies, in terms of tourism.

It is our view that Historic Environment Scotland, who are charged with protecting Scotland's heritage, has not followed its own guidance as, in many cases, it has not actively sought to limit or prevent development on or at the edge of our battlefields. We therefore believe that it is failing to protect battlefields from the ever-increasing threat of being subsumed by inappropriate development.

We have raised two petitions on these issues using

  • Original petition with 113,186 signatures


You can find out more about our group at on our website

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  • Created by GEORGE KEMPIK on behalf of Group to Stop the development at Culloden
  • Date closed 7 September 2021

This petition was considered by the Scottish Parliament

Find out about the decisions taken on this petition

21,205 signatures