21 November 2016
An artist’s impression of the new building
Plans have been submitted to Highland Council for the new Inverness Justice Centre.
The building is to be developed on a site between Longman Road and Burnett Road to the north of Burnett Road Police Station.
The new centre would allow the courts service to move out of historic Inverness Castle.
The Scottish government is to fund the construction of the new two-storey Inverness Justice Centre.
The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service has proposed that the centre has six courtrooms.
It would also have facilities available for supporting and advising victims and witnesses of domestic abuse, sexual violence and provide “an environment for problem solving approaches” to help reduce re-offending and child abuse.
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson has said the centre would be an important development for the city and the wider Highlands area.
source Press & Journal
Plans for a new £23million justice centre in Inverness have taken a major step forward.
The Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service has confirmed it has submitted a full planning application for the major new development to Highland Council.
If approved the plans will eventually lead to Inverness Castle being opened up to the public as a major new city tourist attraction.
The court service wants to establish the purpose-built new facility off Longman Road on the site of a former bus depot and close to Burnett Road police station.
The complex will include six court rooms and will provide a base for a wide range of organisation involved in criminal justice.
The court service said it will also provide specialist facilities to support victims and witnesses of domestic abuse, sexual violence and child abuse.
Extra facilities to help tackle re-offending will also be provided.
A public consultation on the plans was held in August and the idea was widely welcomed.
It has also been backed by the Scottish Government and senior sheriffs who said it would set a “benchmark” for justice for the rest of the country.
Justice secretary Michael Matheson said he believed it would be an “iconic building” for the city, and provide a model for all Scottish courts in the future.
If granted planning permission, the new facility is expected to be opened by 2019 and will pave the way for high profile High Court cases to the Highlands for the first time since 2013.
A spokesman for the court service confirmed the planning application had been lodged.
He added: “As well as providing a six courtroom facility Inverness justice centre will host other justice organisations and third sector organisations providing specialist facilities to support and advise victims and witnesses of domestic abuse, sexual violence and provide an environment for problem solving approaches to help reduce re-offending and child abuse.”
The facility will allow the court service to vacate Inverness Castle – with plans to create a new tourist facility in the area.
Highland Council has applied for £15million to develop the castle as one of the first major projects from the Inverness City Region Deal. Press and Journal