Monday, January 17, 2022

Breaking - Michael Green to put his hat in the ring for the Highland Council elections on Thursday May 5th.

Michael Green (right) speaking to then MSP Andy Wightman outside the Scottish Parliament in May 2017 when quite a few local folk made the trek down to Holyrood to lobby against ship-to-ship oil transfers in the Moray Firth.

The Gurn understands Michael will be standing.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Dangerous rootplate of fallen tree in Tradespark wood close to A96?

 One of our regular readers, a trained aborist, has contacted one of our Highland  councillors about this rootplate in the Tradespark wood next to the A96 which he feels could be dangerous to children. He tells us that the rootplate is safer totally detached from the tree. 

FOI request has indicated that charges for grass cutting of Common Good spaces in Nairn in 2020/21 totalled £40,855. "It is understood no other Common Good Funds in the Highlands have been charged for similar services"."

"A Freedom of Information request to Highland Council has indicated that charges for grass cutting of Common Good spaces in Nairn in 2020/21 totalled £40,855."
"It is understood no other Common Good Funds in the Highlands have been charged for similar services."
More here in this excellent Courier article by Donald Wilson. Please buy the Nairnshire edition of the Courier every week folks - we need this type of journalism to continue!

Friday, January 14, 2022

Nairn Play get 5K boost from Lovat Lodge Group

 Nairn' Plays ongoing efforts to bring new equipment to the Riverside play area have receveived a significant boost of 5K from the Lovat Lodge fund. 

Thursday, January 13, 2022

520 houses at South Nairn - Highland Council response to screening application doesn't look encouraging for the developer

The South Nairn latest information (from October) seems to have passed a lot of folk by so here is what is to be found on the Highland Council website.

A Highland Council response to the screening application reads:

"Screening Opinion It is considered that Environmental Impact Assessment IS required for the development described in the letter and information accompanying your screening request."

 The document goes on to say: " The rationale behind this screening opinion is as follows: 

 1. The proposal does not constitute Schedule 1 development under the 2017 Regulations; but 2. The proposal does fall within the definition of 'Schedule 

2 development' (Regulation 2 - Interpretation), in that the proposal is an urban development project (Schedule 2 (10)(b) where the area of the site exceeds 0.5ha) and, having screened it against the selection criteria outlined in Schedule 3 (including size and design of the development, cumulative impact, pollution, risk of major accidents, impact on natural resources/the natural environment and environmental quality), the potential impact on the receiving environment is considered to be significant"

Potential Significant Effects on the Receiving Environment

 • Other Characteristics: traffic impacts (during construction and operation of the development), by virtue of the scale of the development, its location and its cumulative impact in association with other built development in the locality, notably on the local road network at the railway line underpass on the B9090 linking with A96 and the town centre. Whilst a pedestrian / cycle rail line overbridge is proposed to link with Nairn Academy Secondary School, this is unlikely to serve the needs of primary school aged children with the site falling within the Millbank Primacy School catchment. The proposed bridge would also not be on the desire line for waking or cycling to and from the town centre, with the development likely to result in increased footfall through the underpass which serves adjacent industrial land uses. Deficiencies in the transport network are also highlighted in the site’s allocation (IN8: Nairn South) within the adopted Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan;

 • Pollution: noise and air quality impacts (during occupation of the development) associated with established and allocated industrial land uses, notably the adjacent sawmill; and 

• Other: TBC through EIA Scoping

 Next Steps: Scoping Opinion You are required to prepare an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA Report) and submit this alongside any future planning application. We are unable to approve a planning application for EIA development where an EIA Report has not been submitted.

 Guidance on what should be included within an EIAR can be found in Schedule 4 of the 2017 Regulations and will be informed through any requested EIA Scoping Response."

 The full document can be seen on the Highland Council e-planning pages here:  

The Railway Bridge - still a major factor against any development at South Nairn


The case for delivery of the A96 dualling has again been reinforced with the tragic event yesterday at Auldearn says former Council transport officer

 Richard Gerring told the Gurn:

"I am saddened to hear about the death of a 78 year old male involved in a RTC at Auldearn. My thoughts are with his family and friends.

Attached is an extract from Crash Map UK showing the RTC cluster at the Auldearn junction over the last 22 years. Unfortunately there is a persistent pattern of collisions and casualties.

The case for delivery of the A96 dualling has again been reinforced with the tragic event yesterday.

Road safety is identified as a key priority in the published National Transport Strategy. So the delivery of the Inverness to Nairn dualling project is now even more essential to avoid casualties on the existing trunk road."
A screenshot showing the crash cluster at the junction (click to enlarge)

The BBC site reports: "Police Scotland has appealed for information about the crash, particularly from those who may have seen either vehicle beforehand.

Sgt Ewan Calder said: "At this time, our thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased, following their tragic loss.

"As we continue our inquiries, we'd ask anyone with information or any potential dashcam footage to please come forward." " More here.

Postponement of Nairn Literary Institute Talks - January to March 2022

A message to members states:

"Very reluctantly we have decided, given the current situation with the new Covid infection rate, that we should postpone the remaining five lectures of the 2021 / 2022 Season. Some of our speakers have expressed reservations about attending in-person meetings and we must respect their concerns.

Following discussions, we feel that the best course of action will be to postpone the lectures planned for January to March, and incorporate them into the next season beginning in October. The speakers have all indicated their willingness to re-schedule, so we will still be able to hear and enjoy their knowledge and enthusiasm for their respective subjects. We did consider extending the season into the Spring / early Summer, but quite honestly, the uncertainty of the situation would have made the administration of notifying the membership of postponement or cancellation of lectures at short notice cumbersome and difficult."

Grant Street workshop disposal constitution - comment with a sting in the tail from former chair of Nairn West and Suburban Community Council

Sheena told the Gurn:"“ I would like to see that the land/building is advertised for lease or sale and that the Trustees of the Common Good (preferably the new ones after May’s election) decide what would be most financially beneficial to the Nairn Common Good fund in the long run”.

Sheena clearly indicating that she would like to see new councillors representing Nairn on Highland Council. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Nairn West and Suburban Community Council object to Camper Van Waste Disposal site on the Maggot but want it at Harbour Street toilets - and also want those toilets opened again

From the NWSCC objection document:

"Conclusion and recommendation
We strongly support policy and actions aimed at improving the facilities for motorhome visitors. But we are convinced that this requires joined-up thinking and planning, not a one-off proposal. To sum up: installing a chemical waste disposal point at the Maggot and designating motorhome spaces there has no legal basis, no practical justification, is short-sighted planning, could have adverse environmental impacts and would not be cost-effective. It is the wrong project, in the wrong place. For these reasons, as outlined above, NW&SCC strongly objects to the planning application.Our objection is reinforced by our view that there is a more sensible alternative which would be better value, more practical, and would serve a wider user-base. We believe that the more positive and appropriate option would be to modify, upgrade and enhance the existing toilet block adjacent to the harbour to include a chemical waste disposal unit. We therefore recommend that the present application be withdrawn and this alternative be rapidly and positively pursued instead"