Fearful killing ground where hundreds died

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Opponents of a bid to build luxury homes on Bothwell’s historic battlefield site now massively outnumber those who support the plan.

Scores of objections to the plan by Cala Homes were recorded from heritage groups, local residents and even tourists at the close of the consultation period last week.

Many cite the national importance of the last piece of open ground associated with the Battle of Bothwell Brig in 1679.

Among the objectors are leading Scottish historian Professor Tom Devine, who has slated the scheme as “a desecration”, as well as Historic Scotland - which rates the site as one of the country’s most important battlefields - and Bothwell Historical Society.

Nevertheless Cala Homes had still tried to argue the Covenanters’ Field, where the Duke of Hamilton’s Royalist army mustered, was not part of the battlefield.

The plan is backed by the Scottish Covenanters Memorial Association, which has accepted Cala’s proposal to include a heritage memorial park on the site.

But Association president Bill Niven, an authority on the Covenanters, based in Eaglesham, said he had only reluctantly lent his support to a scheme he sees as “a glass half full”.

If the plan is approved South Lanarkshire Council stands to gain significant funds for the land, at a time when land sales generally have been slow.

Its Local Plan overturns a previous informal agreement with the former District Council that the ground should not be built upon.

Besides history and heritage groups, opponents of the Cala scheme include an Uddingston-based petition, which raised close to 200 names.

It urges “a more appropriate” heritage plan for the contested ground , as proposed by Brighter Bothwell.