Councillors grant permission for Inverness Justice Centre

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Artist's impression of new Inverness Justice CentreImage source, SCTS

Highland councillors have granted planning permission for the new Inverness Justice Centre.

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) has proposed building it on a site between the city's Longman Road and Burnett Road.

The centre would allow the courts service to move out of Inverness Castle, and the castle to be turned into a tourist attraction.

Councillors have given the project full planning permission.

Image source, SCTS
Image caption,
SCTS said the new design offered improvements on an earlier plan

The centre was given planning permission previously, but the design has since been "improved" to create what SCTS describes as a "landmark building".

Construction is scheduled to begin in November this year and the main building work could be completed in 2019.

The centre will be built on the site of a former bus depot next to Police Scotland's Highlands headquarters.

Image caption,
The new building will allow courts business to be moved out of Inverness Castle

Eric McQueen, SCTS chief executive said: "Rather than simply a replacement sheriff court building, the justice centre will play a pivotal role in changing victims', witnesses' and offenders' experience of the justice system, while providing high-quality secure criminal courts, and flexible accommodation for our civil courts and tribunal users.

"By bringing together the right organisations, we can all focus on problem-solving approaches to reduce reoffending and increase the opportunity for community sentencing."

Mr McQueen said the centre's facilities would remove the need for children to appear in court.

Image source, SCTS
Image caption,
Construction of the new building is scheduled to begin in November

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