Following the removal of most of the heavyweight historic objections to the plan to dual the A9 road at Killiecrankie battlefield, Transport Scotland is well advanced in its preparations for a Public Local Inquiry.

The Department of Planning and Environmental Appraisal was handed the case in early March and appointed a Reporter, Mr Scott Ferrie, a month later. The legal firm, Morton Fraser, will represent Transport Scotland.

Design consultants, Jacobs, have been busy trying to persuade residents, individuals, academics, history societies and businesses who have submitted objections to withdraw them.

The final scheme for the road project, which Transport Scotland proposed in November 2017, triggered an international storm of protest. The overwhelming bulk of criticism relates to the degradation of the site of the Battle of Killiecrankie, an area which is nominally protected by its inclusion in the Inventory of Historic Battlefields.

Forced into re-examining its proposed scheme, Transport Scotland and design engineers Jacobs, spent most of 2018 arranging multi-disciplinary historical and archaeological investigations in order to plug the gaps in knowledge which both Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust (PKHT) had highlighted.

Armed with those results, Transport Scotland ‘refined’ the scheme by shrinking the footprint of the earthworks on the battlefield. The Refined Scheme was then re-presented and has essentially been accepted by HES, PKHT and Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) whose aims include the protection of cultural heritage within the park.

Nevertheless HES has not changed its mind about the impact on the battlefield. The Refined Scheme will continue to have a significant adverse impact on the Inventory battlefield plus this version of the scheme will produce a greater sense of severance while the surviving areas of original topography - important for an understanding of the battle - will be obscured. In plain speak, this means that the proposed road will damage the historic environment, be more prominent, change the landscape radically and visually reinforce the splitting of the battlefield in two.

How has Transport Scotland managed to get the statutory consultees to agree to this? Quite simply Transport Scotland moved the goal posts. When the scheme was first presented in November 2017, any person who wished “to express an opinion” was invited to write to Transport Scotland. That allowed unrestricted comment on any aspect of the scheme or its planning. When the Refined Scheme was published a year later, Transport Scotland narrowed the parameters, asking if the refinements were an improvement on the earlier design.

At a stroke, discussion of any dubious decisions that had been taken at earlier stages of planning process was off limits.

KilliecrAnkie168is in favour of upgrading the A9 but continues to oppose the Refined Scheme that still lacks proof that it is the best plan for the battlefield. The latest scheme has also generated a host of new problems that the local community dare not ignore.

To find out how we got here and where we could be going, see the
Road to Inquiry page. The Objections page, found by clicking on the right, now has links to the withdrawal documents of HES, PKHT and CNPA. Also on the column on the right, under the ARCHIVE label, are all our earlier website pages with maps, the proposed route, the process and the history of the battle.