Planning application for Inverness justice centre to be lodged

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson

A planning application for a £23 million courts complex in Inverness will be lodged with Highland Council by next month, the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service has confirmed.

The new “justice centre” building, to be opened by 2019, is designed to house six courts and almost all local public sector workers involved in criminal justice, The Press and Journal reports.

The move into what Justice Secretary Michael Matheson has said will be an “iconic building” in the Highland capital will free up the courts’ current home in Inverness Castle for use as a tourist attraction.

The courts service hopes that the application will be approved by March to allow construction to be completed by December 2018.

Speaking when the plans were announced, SCTS chief executive Eric McQueen said: “This is an exciting opportunity to create a specialist justice centre and a stronger community justice approach by co-locating justice partners and third sector organisations in the same building.

“The centre will enable wrap-around services for offenders both as alternatives to prosecution and problem-solving approaches, and create the specialist facilities and support for victims and witnesses of domestic abuse, sexual violence and child abuse.”

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