Wednesday, October 17, 2018

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. 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Good turnout for anti-development protest at Culloden Battlefield

A good turnout for the  GSDC (Group To Stop Development At Culloden) protest earlier today, Speakers criticised the developers, Historical Environment Scotland and also the Scottish Government. They want intervention from Holyrood to stop other applicaitons now in the planning system.  A protest camp has been established close to the site. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Nairn Yessers at Edinburgh Independence rally

A large contingent from Yes Nairn were at the AUOB (All Under One Banner) rally in Edinburgh on Saturday (6th of October 2018). These images from one of our regular readers of the Yes Nairn meet-up outside the Usher Hall. Click on images to enlarge.

Friday, October 05, 2018

Scottish Water starts work to renew water main in Moss-side Road, Nairn

Scottish Water Press Release 

Scottish Water has started work to renew just over 1 kilometre of water main that serves customers in the vicinity of Moss-side Road in Nairn.

In May, the utility announced that it was prioritising the replacement of the length of 6 inch water main following deterioration in its performance. 

Scottish Water’s project team has completed the planning process and engagement with Highland Council is ongoing about arrangements to allow work in the road to take place safely. The replacement of the water main is expected to take around 6 months to complete.

Gavin Steel, of Scottish Water, said:

“The work beginning in Moss-side Road is necessary to ensure we can provide a reliable water supply to our customers in the surrounding areas of the town. We are grateful to Highland Council and our contractor for working with us over the summer so that we could be ready to start on site this autumn.

“Whenever bursts occur on our water network, our local operational teams aim to respond rapidly to restore supply to our customers and complete repairs. While targeted repairs and other measures can often achieve a return to reliable service, we keep the performance of water mains under regular review so that we can target wider investment where it is most needed. 

“I would like to apologise to customers in the Moss-side Road area who have experienced disruption to their supplies as a result of bursts. We recognise that the replacement of the water main will cause some further disruption in the local area and our site team will work hard to keep this to a minimum. We would ask customers and road users to bear with us while we invest to improve their water network."

Temporary traffic lights will be used during much of the work to enable the excavation and replacement of the water main to take place safely. To allow connections to the existing network, , some residents will experience a brief interruption to their water supply. Scottish Water will notify affected residents at least 48 hours in advance with details of the arrangements and advice on what to do.

Customers who need additional support or further information can contact Scottish Water on 0800 077 8778, quoting reference Capital - 503264.

LGOWIT Boccia tournament - cup returns to Nairn

More about the LGOWIT organisation here. 

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Nairn honours Captain John MacGregor VC MC & Bar DCM ED

Midday Sat 29th and Ian McCuaig begins his 24hr running marathon for Team Hamish on the Maggot - get down there if you can and show your support!

He finishes at midday tomorrow (Sunday 30th) and you can pop down to encourage him at any time you wish over the next 24hours to give enouragement or even run a map or two yourself. All the best Ian, good luck for the next 24hours.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Paddling pool seems to still rock with Nairn folk - have Highland Council got it wrong on what the public want for the Links?

Earlier today we published a Highland Council press release on their findings so far from their consultations on the Links Future. You can read that press release in its entirety here. 

In the Press Release Tom Heggie states:  “Both events were well attended, attracting views and comments from around 100 members of the public" 

Then in relation to the findings of the consultation he continues: "From the two events a number of key points have emerged. It is clear that people recognise a need to develop and improve the Links area, but they want the environment to be respected and well managed. The open spaces, the trees and the views are highly valued. People would also like to see some improvement to the play equipment, with a a new water feature in place of the paddling pool. "

The press release information has been shared far and wide in the Nairn social media world this evening and it has drawn quite a bit of criticism from supporters of the Team Hamish initiative who feel that the Highland Council are not treating the popular charity fairly. 

And then (about half an hour ago a poll emerged on the Nairn Rocks site - a group that is facebook central for Nairn with over 9,700 members).  The poll asked the question "Today the Highland Council announced that the people of Nairn have indicated to them that they would like a new water feature to replace the paddling pool. So here's a straw poll:"

The Paddling Pool     74
A new water feature  21
Both                           18

The figures to the right of the options are the numbers of votes after about half an hour. This observer is not sure how you work that out as a % when you have a third option question for both - could you say that at the time of writing there is a 75% majority in favour of keeping the pool?

Whatever the figures - more people have had a say on the Links in 30 minutes of this poll than did so across the entire two events run by Highland Council. 

Are Highland Council getting it badly wrong on development on the Links?  

The paddling pool in 2008 - image Iain Fairweather

UPDATE - Almost 24hours later and 500 votes in on the poll still with about the same majority in favour of keeping the padding pool.   

Big changes coming up for Grants Garage site

Sandown application - support for housing but questions being asked - a few documents for serious students of Sandown matters to consider

In the wake of earlier Gurn reports about the latest proposals for housing on the Sandown Common Good land, the readers in Gurnshire might be interested to know that some of the more public-spirited members of the community have been monitoring recent developments with a beady eye. And they don't much like what they see. While there is understandable support for the delivery of more housing, the recent proposals raise more questions than answers. Joan Noble has written to the Director of Planning  asking why the area identified in the planning application is considerably larger than in any other previous development brief or draft plans. It appears to close off or ignore the other ideas and options for Sandown which were explored earlier. Could one be forgiven for, once again - believing that the decisions on the planning proposals, the choice of developer, and the way in which Nairn's Common Good is managed, are all totally opaque and are being pursued behind closed doors.

So efforts are under way to find out exactly what is going on, the NRCG has submitted a set of very specific questions as an FoI request. This is aimed at getting full clarification of how and why the Council has launched the latest proposal, what the basis was for selecting a developer (HHA) of which they are a part-owner, and whether other options have been considered and discussed openly with the Common Good trustees.

The same set of questions (and a few others) were also submitted to the four local Councillors on the eve of their committee meeting. In an interesting illustration of the Council's approach, the response has come - not from the Committee Chair, or the local Ward Manager - but from the Inverness Ward Manager, David Haas! 

So a reply has just been sent back to the official in Inverness, pointing out that his response falls far short of what local people have a right to expect.

Avid Gurn readers might well like to see what kind of further replies the Council sends to these letters. Watch this could get quite interesting!

Nairn Links Development Plan moving to next stage

Highland Council press release

Two public engagement events have already been held as part of the initial work to prepare a Development Plan for the Links. These were on 18th August at the Nairn Highland Games and 1st September at Nairn Cricket Club pavilion. 

Chair of the Nairnshire Committee, Councillor Tom Heggie said: “Both events were well attended, attracting views and comments from around 100 members of the public. These were mostly from local people, however we also welcomed the views of visitors and holiday makers who took an interest. 

“From the two events a number of key points have emerged. It is clear that people recognise a need to develop and improve the Links area, but they want the environment to be respected and well managed. The open spaces, the trees and the views are highly valued. People would also like to see some improvement to the play equipment, with a a new water feature in place of the paddling pool. 

“A number of comments were received encouraging joint working with local groups and we are exploring opportunities for this. I would like to thank everyone for their contributions.” 

During October the Council’s project team, which includes external support from consultants Sandy Anderson and Nick Wright, will be in touch with local organisations to ensure that they properly understand local ideas and aspirations for the Links. A first draft plan will be prepared for the Links which will try to draw together all of the local aspirations. We will share that draft at a public event in early November with the specific intention of seeking feedback to get it right. Then, a month later, we will organise a second public event to finalise that plan in response to those comments and – equally importantly – ask people what should be the immediate priorities for action and who wants to be involved. 

Details of the two public events will be publicised in the coming weeks. 

Anyone who would like to input to the proposals for the Links should feel free to contact Nick Wright, a member of the Council’s project team, on 07900 334110.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

With 33% of Scots having gone without food in the past year due to lack of money NairnCAB is urging people to take part in a national survey

A McDonalds and a Home Bargains for Balmakeith

Here's how the debate went at Highland Council's South Planning Committee yesterday. It is lenghty but the debate was very interesting and touched on a litter cleaning plan for any wider area affected, how it would impact on town centre spending, people spending out of town anyway, flood danger in the Auldearn Burn. What sort of goods in the shop etc. Nairn not having a 24hr culture. How Sainsburys are now selling differnt types of goods with Argos in their store. Impact on nearby residental areas. There are contributions from Laurie Fraser and Tom Heggie who mentioned public support for the application. 

Tyre-less training on Nairn Beach for Artic Expedition

Out thanks to the Editor over at Nairn When You Were a Bairn for this story.

"I spotted this item on BBC breakfast on TV this morning,it's a group of women calling themselves the 'Polar Maidens' who are from different decades, the oldest being the leader Jan Meek 73 who will be trekking the 200 miles to the south pole to see what the effects have on women of different ages, the training on our beach includes the woman pulling tyres to simulate the weight of the loads they will be carrying on the expedition, here is a link if you wish to read the whole story."

Thanks too for the quick of the mark screenshots. 

Here's a tweet that Jan Meek posted too with Nairn Beach looking at its best. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Morganti Land Planning application withdrawn

This in an e-mail from Highland Council 

 Further to our previous correspondence in respect of this application, I have now received written confirmation that the application has been withdrawn. This has been recorded in the public planning applications register and the case file is now closed. Should any further application be received for this or a similar proposal it will be necessary for you to write again to advise the Council of any concerns that you may have as comments made on previous applications cannot be transferred. 

Yours faithfully 
Nicola Drummond 
Area Planning Manager – South/Major Developments (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey & Lochaber)

Next Nairn River Community Council meeting Wednesday 19th September 2018 At Nairn Community & Arts Centre At 7.00pm

More details here. 

Nairn Healthcare News Autumn 2018

Copy of the latest Nairn Healthcare Newsletter here. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

A96 temporary traffic lights chaos - MSP wishes to reduce frustration and anger amongst the motoring fraternity.

That's twice this week we've had something up from a Labour mannie. Yes the Gurnmeister is a big Yesser and supports a certain party that leans in that direction but whatever your party colours if you mention Nairn in your press release then please let us know. 

Here's the latest from David Stewart MSP:

Reacting further to the issue of unmanned temporary traffic lights causing chaos on the A96 between Inverness and Nairn twice in two weeks, David Stewart MSP has suggested appropriate information signage at these unmanned works would apprise motorists of the reason for the lights and reduce frustration and anger amongst the motoring fraternity.

He said “ When there is a possible collapse of a manhole cover, which there seems to be a lot of lately on the A96 and temporary traffic lights are required to be installed, I have wondered why when they are unmanned, the operating company or the utility company concerned do not place a temporary ‘A’ frame yellow and black information sign at these unmanned temporary lights, merely advising motorists ‘manhole cover collapsed’ or similar. Then as the motorists pass these lights, they are made aware that the lights have not been set up for no good reason and it immediately takes the heat out of the whole situation.

“Trust me, there is nothing more infuriating for the travelling public than to see apparent road works, temporary traffic lights and no work on going, or workmen present. If they know the reason for these lights then everyone concerned understands the situation and there is reduced frustration. I am not saying we need sign for every different scenario, I am just suggesting an appropriate sign advising ‘collapsed manhole cover’ or ‘urgent road repairs’. This allows everyone to know that there is a valid reason. Let’s be honest, two weeks ago a utility company arranged for temporary traffic lights to be installed on the A96 at Barn Church Road, for non emergency work and then never turned up to do the work. There were massive tailbacks, driver frustration and chaos and after my intervention we had the lights removed.

“ I have made contact with Bear Scotland regards to the signage suggestion and I hope they will take it on board.