Saturday, January 10, 2009

Stolen from MyNairn blog

The Gurn has been talking about the Marina but over at MyNairn it's all about the Harbour. That Spurtle and Nairnbairn should really have their own blogs. Here's some of Spurtle's caustic wisdom:

'The harbour development commenced sometime in 1990 I think and ran through 1991, possibly into 1992.
I’m not sure if we had ‘Local Plans ‘ then but I suspect if anyone were to investigate the boundaries of the conservation zone, they might well find it traces the outline of the harbour development quite closely, without ever crossing it.
Prior to the harbour development , the area never looked ‘pretty’ . There was an old Cash and Carry, which I was once told had been an abbatoir, the Sailing Club and its yard ( the Sailing Club aqquired its pitched roof and the ‘ new’ boatyard as part of the re-development), the Peerie ( chip shop & smoked salmon) , various garages/sheds, and the Sea Scout hut.
All that happened is all that happens with most developments .The developer promised the earth, those in positions of authority, who really should know better, dance about like excited puppies, peeing themselves. Then the developer fails to deliver and the town is left with a piss-poor development which has more in common with some iron curtain country than evoking even the tiniest sentiment of anything resembling Scottish architecture.
“Put up a pile of ugly boxes, and Jesus, people bought ‘em” ( Henley,Frey 1976)
And, of course, just like the lack of facilities built on the Lochloy Development, or the problems with the playpark built at the new houses in Auldearn, there seems to be a total lack of accountability. I suspect that most developers , and quite a few officers of the Council , should be called Teflon , as nothing ever seems to stick to them.'

There's more, buried away at the bottom of the comments in this MyNairn thread


Anonymous said...

OK then, let's be democratic about this and share the discussion around!

Over on MyNairn we had been discussing whether the unattractive 1990s developments Spurtle refers to actually fell within the boundaries of the Conservation Area (and thus should have been subject to the rules about not "harming" the character or appearance of the area).

Well I don't know when the Area was officially designated, but on the Highland Council website I have found a map. Here's the link.

The harbourside apartment blocks, and the infill housing that backs on to the Riverside path, were definitely built on land within the conservation zone.

So much for the professional competence and architectural judgment of the planning authorities...

Graisg said...

You will no doubt remember the vociferous complaints of Fishertown folk over the blue slate issue at the time, someone needs to go and check the minutiae in the old Nairnshires in the library.

Anonymous said...

Apart from the developer I don’t think anyone in Nairn was happy with the end result of the harbour development.
As in common with harbours all over the world, ours at Nairn was a commercial site complete with working buildings (Warehouses) which didn’t make it very attractive but was functional.
Unlike hundreds of other harbours that have been remodeled for leisure and are a real pleasure to visit, Nairn didn’t get it right. Don’t get me wrong, I still like Nairn harbour but the surrounding flats add nothing to the area. The remaining harbour front retail unit Basils (The property now in it’s nth reincarnation) is really too small, and each successive owner has struggled to make it work.
An imaginative development would have added so much to the tourist value of Nairn, a hotel and restaurant maybe?
The flats themselves are truly little boxes with the developer squeezing in as many units as possible. Their architecture fails to reflect anything of the local historic fishertown, all in all a miserable badge of bad planning which will be with us for many years. But it continued with houses along the river and now flats as well. The maggot itself didn’t need to have been filled in but could have offered an excellent water based leisure facility.
All this points to a total failure of us recognising our key industry, that of tourism. I’m not suggesting another Disney Land here, but some sympathetic and imaginative building to promote Nairn. We surely want tourists to enjoy and come back to us?
Nairn is not alone in terms of poor development. Inverness planners seemed totally unable to see the value of their river when it came to building, witness what they now have. Even the coastal road that sweeps along the Longman has the sea view hidden from most cars by the large rocks forming the sea wall.
Is it beyond hope that those in charge of planning will stop and think before jumping up and down with glee when any developer says they will build something? We need to be selective rather than present the eternally grateful cap in hand attitude? But will we ever!

Anonymous said...

Well said Ayeright,you got it spot on.Nice to see somebody knows what they are talking about.

Anonymous said...

Just to reinforce Ayeright's comments on the harbour flats.

When the developer got into a wee bit of trouble with , what is known today as 'HMRC', for allegedly not paying his taxes, he found it rather difficult to pay the builder what was owed for some phases of the work. Another building contractor, took over ownership of a fair chunk of the development, in lieu of payment.

At the time, attmepts were made to get the Council to step in and buy some of the flats and houses for rental to prospective tenants on the waiting list.

There was one little problem though. Having been inspected by the Council, it transpired that , in terms of space/ storage etc.... they fell below the minimum acceptable standard for Highland Council use.

The lesson to be learned?

Be wary of highfalutin' developers, driving Mercs' and wearing sharp suits.

Whether it's houses, flats, supermarkets or whatever - they are interested in Nairn, or anywhere else for only one reason, and it's not to improve the quality of our lives.

Take care folks, white man often speak with forked tongue.

(Spurtle casually flings stetson towards coat hook, and misses )

Graisg said...

Remember the specification prob for the council well Spurtle, they were sub-standard to council requirements. 'Luxury development' indeed!

This takes us back to the obvious point that it is imperative that Nairnites take control of their community once again! We need one Royal Burgh of Nairn Community Council to protect our community!