Nairnbairn left a comment on the article 'Shopping in Nairn in the twenties and thirties.' The editor suspects that most Gurnites are supporters of Sainsbury's proposal and we have had very little anti reaction to the Gurn's support of the Balmakeith development, anyway we are very happy to publish Nairnbairn's response as an article in its own right:
I wonder if the Gurn - and other readers - noticed the irony in the juxtaposition (in The Gurn on Sunday) of Hamish's lyrical and evocative description of a Nairn High Street full of shops with character, alongside the Pettifer Estates letter soliciting support for a bunch of edge-of-town warehouse-style retail units?The Ballerina Ballroom of Dreams prompted a brief burst of nostalgia and romance - and maybe the fond hope that the High Street might be resurrected. The Pettifer letter claims that their scheme will attract shoppers who currently go to Forres and Inverness. Hmm. More likely it will drain away from the other shops in town the residual expenditure by local residents. Watsons was only the latest, and won't be the last, to feel the pain.And meanwhile what of the fate of the huge empty spaces in the town centre (bus station, Regal cinema, abandoned filling station, boarded up public buildings, derelict churches, scruffy carparks, etc)? Not sure which is worse: despairing mumbles about inept decision-making and what might have been, or the current shameful and embarrassed silence.Is the Nairn of Dr Grigor's vision, which we perhaps like to think still exists, actually no more than a twitching corpse? If Nairn is to survive as anything other than a dormitory suburb with a few convenience chain-store premises, then the town's planners and decision-makers have to realise that survival depends on sustaining and preserving a civic identity and a range of businesses and facilities which will attract visitors as well as offering quality of life to its residents. And that means reviving and improving the heart of town (High Street, Fishertown and Harbour), whatever else happens at the margins.
Thanks Nairnbairn, The Gurn will shortly be publishing more material that Pettifer have submitted to the Scottish Government in support of their application and yes it is in a way propoganda but a lot of what Pettifer and Sainsbury's have to say is simply an echo of what Nairnites have been pointing out for years. Comments always welcome if anyone feels as strongly as Nairnbairn that the whole thing is a bad idea.