Inverness Justice Centre designs unveiled
Concept designs of a new justice centre in Inverness have been unveiled to cabinet secretary for justice Michael Matheson ahead of a public consultation exhibition of the plans.
A pre-planning application has been submitted to Highland Council to transform the former Stagecoach depot site between Longman Road and Burnett Road into a facility with new courts and offices.
Penned by Reiach & Hall, the proposals illustrate a two storey building combining office space and courtroom accommodation which will be shared by the justice organisations located in the building.
Replacing the existing premises at Inverness Castle, the two distinct building wings will be joined by a public atrium.
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.
Mr Matheson visited Inverness Castle yesterday for a preview of the public consultation exhibition which takes place in the city’s Spectrum Centre.
Eric McQueen, chief executive, Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, said: “This is a very exciting development and unique in its vision to bring together a range of organisations who work within the justice environment in the Highlands. With financial support in place from Scottish Government, the Inverness Justice Centre is a fantastic opportunity to improve the delivery of justice within a purpose-built fully integrated facility.
“We have a first class project team in place and are working with justice organisations to make sure we can provide the best environment and facilities for victims, witnesses and all courts and tribunals users, all within an accessible and high quality building which is supported by digital innovation and sustainable by design.”
Mr Matheson said: “I am very happy that Scottish Government funding is making a difference to delivering a new Justice Centre for Inverness and the Highlands. I would encourage the public to visit the Scottish Courts and Tribunals exhibition for the opportunity to see these exciting new proposals for themselves.”
These concept designs will be influenced by the feedback to the public exhibition. Once Highland Council planning committee’s consideration of the pre-planning application has been received by SCTS, and if supportive, the next step would be to submit an application for full planning permission.
Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson, said: “Highland Council supports progressing the move of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service from Inverness Castle and turning the castle and surrounding area into a major visitor attraction for the city and region.”