£23m justice centre and £5m train station approved for Inverness

Inverness Justice Centre aerialHighland councillors have approved plans to build a £23 million court and justice centre in Inverness and a new railway station near Inverness Airport.

Designed by Reiach & Hall Architects, the two-storey justice centre will be developed on the site of a former bus depot between Longman Road and Burnett Road to the north of Burnett Road Police Station.

The former bus depot site was considered after the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) withdrew a conditional offer to buy a site for the proposed hub on vacant land also on Burnett Road.

Expected to be completed next year, the new centre would allow the city’s sheriff court service to move out of Inverness Castle.

Inverness Justice Centre designsIt will also house rehabilitation facilities and offices, while the castle will be devoted to tourism.

The construction of the justice centre will be funded by the Scottish Government.

Highland Council’s south planning applications committee approved the proposals on Tuesday morning.

The same committee also considered proposals for other major developments in and around the city and approved a new railway station near Inverness Airport.

The £5m single platform stop on the Inverness to Aberdeen line and parking spaces for 150 cars have been proposed for a site at Dalcross.

Inverness airport railway plansA station close to the airport has been a long standing aspiration of the Highlands and Islands Strategic Transport Partnership, which promotes improvements to public transport in the Highlands.

Work is expected to begin on a platform later this year and it could open by the end of 2018.

Inverness Airport’s runway recently underwent a £1.4m revamp intended to extend its lifespan by 20 years.

A £1.2m taxiway extension was also constructed to link the main runway to the Inverness Airport Business Park.

Councillors were also due to consider a notification of plans for a new prison in Inverness.

The new HMP Highland jail on the outskirts of Inverness will replace the ageing HMP Inverness, also known as Porterfield Prison.

The Scottish Prison Service has submitted a document to inform Highland Council that it is preparing a planning application for the development on a site next to Inverness Retail Park on the A96.

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