Nairn Academy Climate Emergency demonstrators continue their weekly action. They were joined again this morning by mothers with pre-school age children. They told the Gurn that on Saturday the 25th the Nairn campaigners will be heading for Inverness and meeting up with others in Falcon Square at 12 noon.
Friday, May 17, 2019
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Quite a lot going on in the Nairn twittersphere these days folks, we'll post anything interesting we see here via the Gurn twitter page
If there's not much being posted here it's worth having a look at the Gurn twitter account. Quite a lot happens in the Nairn twittersphere these days and you can scroll down the wee twitter boxie on the right hand side as far as you like to see what the latest craic is. You don't have to have an account to look at tweets either.
Tweets by @GurnNurn
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Yes Politics for parents - interesting concept for parents who find it hard to get to meetings in the evenings etc - tomorrow 10.30 am Nairn Community and Arts Centre
The launch of a new political group in Nairn tomorrow. The idea is to give a chance to those parents who find it too difficult to get to meetings in the evenings etc. This is for Yes minded parents but the concept could equally apply to those the other way inclined who find their political life curtailed somewhat by parenthood. This initiative was reported in the National.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Here at the Gurn we believe Margaret Davidson showed remarkable leadership qualities yesterday at the regular monthly meeting of Highland Council at Glenurquhart Road in Invernessin changing her motion on climate change to include the words "Climate and Ecological Emergency". We would urge our readers to watch the section of the Highland Council webcast below where the motion was debated - it it a good insight into what has to be done and what we can do in the Highlands to help avoid the worst effects of accelerating climate change.
Nairn Academy Climate strikers - Week 10 of their regular protest - further action planned for Saturday 25th of May in Inverness
The young people today were delighted with yesterday's decision of Highland Council to declare a Climate and Ecological emergency. They were joined by mothers with pre-school children who support their action.
The Gurn understands that the Nairn youngsters are, with other young people in the Highlands, organising a march and rally in Inverness on Saturday the 25th of May. More details when we have them.
More pictures here.
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Monday, May 06, 2019
Significant objection to development of 3 houses at top end of Mill Road from Highland Council Forestry Officer "contrary to Policy 51 of the Highland wide Local Development Plan"
Regular readers may recall a Gurn article from the 13th of March entitled "Trees and planning applications - another potential felling? It's an article that looks at how perhaps we can ensure that as much of the fine environment we enjoy in and around Nairn can be preserved as future development of the town continues. We linked to the planning application and today we repost a picture of the site location below.
Anyway the Highland Council Forestry Officer has submitted his thoughts and they are against the development. Here's some of the content of his letter to the Planning Department:
"The applicant proposes separate accesses off Mill Road for each property with an almost fully paved frontage to each dwelling. The houses are proposed on the same build line as ‘Essbee’ and there are Side Elevations on drawing 18058.P02C which propose minimal cut and fill, but this is quite unrealistic when compared with the actual topography of the site which drops quite quickly down from Mill Road to the south-east.
Drawing 18058.P02C contains a Site Plan which shows trees with tag numbers and what appears to be root protection areas, but there is no tree schedule to accompany the application. In any case, it would appear that the majority of trees on site are proposed to be removed and some of those trees closest to Essbee appear to have already been removed. Drawing 18058.P02C identifies trees for removal and there is a suggestion that new trees would be planted, but there is no planting detail and no indication of where they would be planted. The drawing also identifies trees which are to be retained and a green line which appears to represent the line of a tree protection barrier, but it does not protect the roots of adjacent trees proposed for retention (904, 983 and 987). The Site Plan does not show any services nor indication of how surface water would be dealt with. I would be concerned that any requirement for surface water soakaway would need to be pushed into the woodland with additional adverse impact.
The Site Plan shows the houses in plot 1 and 2 around 8m away from retained trees 904 and 906 while in plot 3 there is less than 3m between retained trees 983 and 987 and the proposed house. This is inadequate separation which places the house in plot 3 in the root protection area of trees proposed for retention. This also leaves the properties with no amenity garden ground.
I am concerned that the level of tree felling proposed and the additional adverse impact on tree roots as a consequence of the significant infill that would be required to accommodate the access, car parking, three houses, amenity garden ground and site servicing would have a significant adverse impact on the existing woodland. The application does not promote significant protection to existing trees and woodlands on this site and does not provide adequate separation between established trees and any new development, so is contrary to Policy 51 of the Highland wide Local Development Plan."
Any readers wishing to see the full letter from the Forestry Officer and other documentation can head over to application file on the Highland Council e-planning site here. "
Friday, May 03, 2019
Wednesday, May 01, 2019
Nairn Common Good Fund - easier community input and improved transparency coming it seems but lots of questions on Asset Register Content - anyone with info to add to debate?
The discussion at the NWSCC meeting on Monday night in the Community Centre on the issue of the Nairn Common Good and the issue of the register recently published by Highland Council was striking in the display of apparent willingness of the three local Highland Council members present to forge a new way forward that includes transparency and more input from the community. The bad old days of Nairn's relationship with Highland Council might indeed be slipping away into the past.
There are questions being asked of the register however and here's some that emerged from the meeting: "how long has Sandown been a CG asset?", "who remembers the MacLaren Gardens?", "how many people were aware that the parking behind the Courthouse is CG land?", "should Viewfield be regarded as a Common Good asset because it was originally purchased for the benefit of the local community as a public park?" And a few other issues.
What do you think readers, have you got any historical info on Common Good property or issues that might help the debate. The register of interests is linked in this Gurn article. We'd like to add a paper below that was discussed at the meeting. It comes from Joan Noble and makes several comments, I'm sure that many Gurnites will find it interesting:
Common Good Draft Register – Areas included but require clarification/correction
- Harbour area:
All part of Burgh lands, and used as common ground/ work premises from earliest records.
Boatyard, Sailing Clubhouse, Sundancer, all on CG register and leased.
Coastguard office pays rent to CG but not on the register. Shelter, Fisher girl Statue, Harbour Car park, Carwash site , toilets, flats on site of old Sea Scout Hut and Shore Street flats overlooking harbour
All these areas should have been checked and added as appropriate.
Should some be paying rent to CG fund.
Action points: i. All areas and buildings must be specified in the register and mapped to ensure clarity.
ii. All leases need checked and ensure payments are being made to CGF.
- Nairn Dunbar Golf Course.
CG land extends significantly further north than the golf course boundary at the Eastern end.
Kingsteps car park is also part of this CG land although the road belongs to Brodie.
Action Points: i. Map drawn up in 1980 available and HC one needs revised.
ii. Kingsteps car park needs added to register.
- Marine Road Property. Which property is this? Old Toilets ?
4 Riverside Park
The extent of the park is inadequately described. It does not include the car park, playpark and Jubilee Bridge.
The extent of CG land previously owned by Whinnieknowe estate is not adequately delineated. 1 acre of this was purchased from the Church of Scotland in October 1974. (ROS SS 65)
Action Points: The former Whinnieknowe land must be accurately mapped. Does it extend to Firhall Bridge?
Description of park must be much more accurate and inclusive.
- Sandown Lands:
Part of the original Burgh lands of Nairn – there is proof of lease for agricultural use for over 150 years.
Very inaccurately described. North Field 1 is bordered by A96, Rear of properties on W side of Tradespark Road, South Boundary of Fort Reay, and Sandown Farm Lane. North field 2 is bounded by A96, the Old Burgh Boundary (Right of way from Moss-side road to the beach.), Altonburn Road and Sandown Farm Lane.
South Field is bounded by A96, Sandown Road, Wyvis Drive, Moss-side Drive and Old Burgh Boundary.
Action points: Needs accurate description and mapping.
Need clarity about whether the land is inalienable.
Sites not on register but queries have been raised.
Tradespark. Triangular wood.
Title registered by Tyrell Hastings Clarke 1903 as described in ROS (SS 358)
Present Owner: Highland Council
Purchased: 16 May 1988 from Cyril Wilson Clarke for £19,460. HC minutes (HRC 1/1/23 p 627) and ROS (SS 358)
Site of old Community Centre. Needs Clarification and full history. Free Church built 1843.
Common Good Draft Register Omissions:
- Parkland area south of Bridge street on east of river below Riverside Terrace.
- John Wood map 1828 showing it as part of Burgh lands. No evidence of sale.
- Continuous use as common/parkland.
- Prince of Wales Walk up east side of river from A96 Bridge to Howford Bridge and presumably the surrounding land outwith farm or property fencing.
OS name books Volume 07, Nairnshire. 1869
What is the status of the banks of the river as part of the fishings bought in 1923?
- Calfward Garden. Beside Mill Road Allotments. What is the extent of this area?
Evidence: In 1996 CG register
Who owns Old Church and Graveyard?
Courthouse/ Falconer’s lane car park.
NDC minutes 1/1/2 pps. 55, 107,112, 183. Purchased 1975 with CG fund monies from SCWS and minuted as such.
21 year lease to Highland Regional Council at nominal rate.
This car park was included in 1996 CG Register.
Viewfield estate (minus the bus station section) was bought from Inverness Investment Trust Ltd. by the Burgh in Jan 1949 after it had been requisitioned in the war. It was in poorish condition after this and being used as a workshop.
The sale went through it appears using £4000 from the E. M. Fraser bequest for the poor of Nairn. The Estate was used as a security bond for the E M Fraser bequest. (ROS SS 526.)
Viewfield House was to be used as the library and Burgh Engineer’s Dept. The rest of the house was used as a caretakers flat, and rooms which the community could rent – Red Cross, guides, pipe band, room for Nairn Lit. Institute Archives. 44 Allotments were prepared at the A96 end and the adjoining land was cultivated by Grigor Davidson, tenant of Sandown. The lodge was leased to the cinema manager.
At a meeting of 23 Oct 1950 (BN 1/1/30) the Viewfield Committee of the Burgh came up with suggestion of uses for ‘Viewfield Public Park’ (para 2) and a landscape architect was in attendance to take the ideas forward. Suggestions of bowling green, hockey pitch, tennis courts and a public stage for entertainments were mooted.
It is abundantly clear that the Viewfield open space had been purchased with a bequest and was to be used for the behoof of the community. The house was also available for community use although primarily library/offices.
In August 1952 the remaining section (currently the bus station) which was leased as a Burgh car park and bus halt, was purchased and continued in use as a car park, with the bus company then leasing their stances and shed.
1968 Burgh sold 1 acre including Viewfield lodge to North Eastern Counties Police Board (ROS SS 526).
Trustees of EM Fraser bequest agreed to disburdening of the £4000 bond.
For all these reasons there is a very clear claim for Viewfield Park to be part of the CG assets of Nairn, and further evidence is that the Sports Club and Bowling Green pay annual rent to the Common Good Fund.
The MacLaren Gardens behind the bus station were also bequeathed to the Common Good.
Promenade. Purchased 1948
Pays rental to CG.
ATC/TA huts – were sited at the rear of Viewfield during war and were part of the sale. Previously in CG register.
Shaw’s Close Car Park
1975 NDC minutes 1/1/2 p 107. Parking bays in Shaw’s Close / Simpson St car park paid lease to Common Good.
This suggests that this car park is at least partly owned by CG.
Art and Artefacts
Previous registers included paintings and other burgh property such as the War Memorial, Straith’s Monument, Toorie Monument, Victoria Fountain and the Mercat Cross.