Convener gives assurance over future of Whin Park
The Convener of The Highland Council, Councillor Jimmy Gray, has stressed that the route for the Inverness West Link does not touch Whin Park.
Councillor Gray gave his assurance to avoid any confusion that might arise as the result of the choice of Whin Park as the venue for a demonstration against the Council’s choice of route for the £27.2 million distributor road, which will take traffic from Dores Road to the A 82 at Torvean via a bridge across River Ness and a second swing bridge across the Caledonian Canal.
He said: “ With a photo of some of the protesters in a boat in Whin Park appearing on the front page of the newspapers and now a demonstration against Option 6 being organised for Whin Park, some people could be forgiven for beginning to believe that Whin Park is affected by the route of the Inverness West Link. I am happy to once again stress that Whin Park is not touched by the proposed new distributor road and will remain unaltered after construction. It is important that this point is very clearly stated as I am sure that it is not the intention of the protesters to deliberately mislead anyone.
“At Canal Pitches, we are retaining 3 of the 4 pitches, the Rugby Club clubhouse and the associated car park, so I am not quite sure what the Save the Canal Pitches Campaign aims to achieve. This is even more puzzling as we intend to provide a new pitch at Ness-side and 4 new sports pitches at Torvean, which will mean a net increase of four pitches in the area which begs the question why there is a save the canal pitches campaign, which I am sure again has no intention to mislead.”
Meanwhile, the Council has written to Inverness Civic Trust, the West Link Protest Group and the Save the Council Pitches to confirm that the Council has no plans to organise a public meeting ahead of a debate at the full council meeting on Thursday 9 May concerning a request by 5 councillors that a review be made of the route. A planned program of consultations for phase 3 of the project is almost complete with two public consultations have already taken place with a third due between 10 am and 3 pm on Saturday 4th May at the Eastgate Centre.”
The City of Inverness Area Committee, a cross-party Working Group and the full council have all unanimously approved the route, added to which the delivery of the project is a priority in the Council’s Programme of Action, which was published last year.
A total of £1.3 million has been spent on the project and the Council aims to present a planning application for the route by late August to ensure that the project is delivered on time, with work of the first phase starting in 2015/16.
A period of consultation continues until 31 May on both the route for the Link Road and the draft development brief for the Torvean/Ness-side area.