Preparation for Stage two of the West Link is underway to include new park
A new park is to be part of the plans for the West Link project, using the beautiful parkland setting of the current golf course adjacent to the canal.
Stage 1 of the West Link, which forms the link from Dores Road to the A82, was successfully completed and opened to traffic in December 2017.
The new golf course, clubhouse and maintenance facility are all currently under construction, with a completion date of Spring 2019, which is when the start of construction on the second phase of the West Link can begin. A procurement exercise will be carried out over the course of the year to appoint a contractor for this phase.
Stage 2 is the construction of the additional swing bridge and roundabout, with the associated realignment of General Booth Road, to be completed by December 2020.
Members have today agreed to the preparation of a new planning application to reflect a design change on the new roundabout on the A82. This will provide for a fifth leg off the roundabout to allow more effective access to the canal-side, the rowing club, a new park area and any other development opportunities in the future. As this is a departure from the original planning approval, this will have to be the subject of a new planning application.
Construction of the new golf course to the north west of the proposed Torvean Roundabout will release the two areas currently occupied by the existing Torvean golf course (the areas currently covered by holes 1-8 to the south of the A82 and new West Link, and holes 10 -14 to the east of General Booth Road). The future use of these areas needs to be considered over the course of this year to ensure that a sustainable plan is put in place before the completion of the West Link project as a whole. Members have agreed for public consultation to be undertaken to confirm the land use arrangements in the wider area of land surrounding the road scheme.
Members also agreed that the existing layout of the area covered by holes 5-8 of the current Torvean Golf Course, including Loch na Sanais and the mature tree coverage provides a rare opportunity to deliver a new city park within an established setting, subject to funding sources being identified. It is proposed that a fitness trail be designed and implemented as an early phase to ensure that use is made of the area by walkers, runners and cyclists immediately after it is vacated by the golf course.
Discussions continue with Jacobite Cruises and Scottish Canals with regard to relocation of Jacobite Cruises. Relocation is only possible after the construction of new in canal infrastructure so they will continue to operate from their existing location during the works. A replacement building and associated car parking will be considered later in the project.
A workshop for Members will be held to discuss in more detail proposals for land to be vacated by the Golf Club including the new city park.
Provost and Leader of the City of Inverness Committee, Councillor Helen Carmichael said: “The first stage of the West Link has been a resounding success and both the road and active travel routes are being very well used. It is exciting to hear about the plans for Stage 2 and all the opportunities this brings for the city.”