Council welcomes go ahead for Inverness West Link Road
This is the final phase of the Inverness Southern Distributor Road which is aimed at removing traffic congestion in the city centre and allowing completion of the city’s outlying neighbourhoods.
Planning permission was granted by the South Planning Application Committee at its meeting today (Tuesday) in Inverness.
The West Link involves the construction of 3.2km of new single carriageway road with five roundabouts; a swing bridge over the Caledonian Canal and a new bridge of the River Ness.
The road will run from the Southern Distributor Road at Holm Roundabout on Dores Road to the A 82 Inverness – Fort William trunk road on both sides of the canal. The route follows the river bank from the existing Holm Roundabout to a fixed bridge crossing over the River Ness at the Precast Concrete Works/River Ness weir. The road then follows the toe of the Caledonian Canal embankment to a tandem canal swing bridge arrangement at Tomnahurich as well as continuing on to link to Glenurquhart Road to the east side of the canal. General Booth Road will be realigned to meet with a new roundabout proposed on the A 82 to the west of the canal.
The road has six distinct sections and will be built in two stages.
Stage one will take traffic:
- from Holm Roundabout to Mill Lade Roundabout;
- Across the River Ness via a new bridge;
- Via the Canal Park to Queen’s Park; and
- then to Glenurquhart Road, which links to the existing Tomnahurich Swing Bridge
Stage two will see the road crossing the Caledonian Canal at a new swing bridge and connect to a new 4-arm roundabout at Torvean before linking to General Booth Road at its junction with a new roundabout on the A 82.
In recommending approval of the application, planners said the principle and broad corridor of the chosen route alignment was firmly established in planning policy, confirmed at three successive local plan inquiries. The proposal would bring about clear benefits in providing for more efficient cross-city movement.
At the same meeting, planning permission in principle was granted to the Council for a mixed used development at Torvean, Inverness, featuring an 18-hole golf course, practice area, new golf clubhouse and maintenance building; the formation of a sports hub comprising sports pitches, fitness trails, car parking and a building to accommodate changing/shower facilities; and parkland areas at Torvean.
The sports hub will be located on an area of land currently occupied by holes 9-14 of Torvean Golf Course to the east of the realigned General Booth Road and comprise four sports pitches; a changing facility with 8 changing rooms; parking; and fitness trails.
The parkland areas will be located on an area which is currently occupied by holes 5-8 of Torvean Golf Course.
A planning application for an extension to Kilvean Cemetery has been withdrawn at this stage, subject to satisfactory completion of further ground investigation works.
Council Leader Drew Hendry said: “Granting of planning permission is a significant landmark in the progress of this vitally important project. The benefits for Inverness from the completion of the Southern Distributor Road are immense, both in terms of freeing the city centre of congestion and allowing the growth of neighbourhoods at Ness-side and Torvean/Charleston.”
Convenor of The Highland Council and Chair of the South Planning Applications Committee Councillor Jimmy Gray added: “I am extremely enthusiastic about the West Link road project which is one of the most important developments to have come forward in recent times for the City of Inverness and the Highlands. Linked together with the Sports Hub development there is a real opportunity for Inverness and the Highlands to have major sporting and recreational facilities that will be of national interest.”
Councillor Thomas Prag, Chair of the Council’s Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee and Member of the South Planning Applications Committee and added: “These developments are much more than traffic management plans for the west side of Inverness. With opportunities for high quality design, landscaping and public art for the area we have a fantastic opportunity to create a high quality amenity gateway for the City that not only looks and functions well but feels great.”