CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a housing estate on the edge of the Culloden battlefield have sparked global outrage.
A petition set up to stop the building near the site of the 1746 clash had within hours attracted hundreds of angry comments from as far afield as North America and Australia.
Ex-pat Scots accused the Scottish Government of betraying the memory of soldiers who died during the battle.
A government-appointed reporter earlier this week said the plan for 16 homes should be allowed to go ahead.
The National Trust for Scotland is among groups angered by the plan for the homes just half a mile from the site.
But international anger was demonstrated within minutes of David Tolmie, a self-confessed “history buff” from Edinburgh, setting up a petition on the website Change.org.
He received more than 500 signatures within 11 hours of the petition starting just after midnight yesterday (Thu).
At least half were from outside the UK.
Linda Stubblefield from Kingsport, Tennessee, said: “Culloden Battlefield is sacred ground for all Scots, no matter how far removed from the shores of Scotland.”
Amy Walts from Rochester, New York, wrote: “Culloden is sacred ground where countless people lost their lives. It is still thick with emotion and historical significance, and a place of pilgrimage for many.
“Any development of that land is shameful and reprehensible. The International community sees this proposal and strongly disapproves.”
Another woman, Kathleen Findlay, from Canada, said that “if we stop honouring the dead” then “we betray them”.
And Brenden Murphy from Australia said: “This site is entitled to the same respect as any burial ground, particularly for its historical significance and the reasons why so many died here.
Robert Small from Darwin, Australia said: “ Living in Australia I have seen how the indigenous people fight to preserve sacred sights. Sites like Culloden.
“This is your heritage Scotland if you can save nothing else save your heritage. Lang may yer Lum Reek.”
Petitioners from the non-English-speaking world also voiced their concern from Germany, Finland, Greece and the Netherlands.
Vanessa Hueltenschmidt, from Germany, described the move as “beyond disrespectful”.
Mr Tolmie, 48, wrote: “This sure as hell must not happen. The whole site/area is a burial ground for many Scots who perished there during that bloody battle.”
He added: “It seems that Holyrood are presently responsible for this planning application being given the go ahead after Highland Council rejected the application.
“Although this may still have a further hurdle to cross, it is important that whoever makes the final decision knows the strength of feeling and utter disgust at even the possibility of this happening.”
Speaking earlier this week, Alexander Bennett, the NTS’s Countryside North Group Manager added: “If this development goes ahead then there are others waiting to develop alongside it so, before we know where are we could end up with a Central Park, New York surrounded by houses on all sides .
“That’s our worst case scenario. So we felt obliged in the national interest to object to it.”
But a spokesman for the developers Inverness Properties said: “What we propose will enhance the surroundings of the battlefield, as Historic Scotland appreciated when they opted not to object.
“We will continue to run Viewhill Farm as a farm. It is a 200 acre site and this building affects only a few acres of it”.
After the plans emerged, a Scottish Government spokesman said: “Once this agreement has been reached, the reporter will issue his final decision on the appeal.
“The reporter has agreed with Historic Scotland that it is unlikely that the proposal would have any impact on the character and ambience of the battlefield.”