Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sandown: Nairnbairn's view

Nairnbairn's thoughts have come in to the Gurn on another thread but as the Gurnmeister agrees with them entirely then they deserve publication in their own right :-)

'This Sandown episode is a little chapter in a bigger and longer saga. It shows that when people who care about the town get together, mobilise and engage with the authorities, it is possible to influence decisions and get results.
Amid the relief, the satisfaction and the remarks about Sandy Park and others , this is the comment that really matters:
Anonymous said...

At least everyone is happy that the landscape can be destroyed on the East side of Nairn, but not the west. That is what I love about this place total inconsistency.

Anonymous has a point. But it's not East versus West, or Fishertown and uptown. It's about all of Nairn. Like Sandown, there are other developments happening (Maggot) or planned (South Nairn, Delnies) that will affect the whole town. And there are developments that are not happening, but ought to (Somerfield site, the Regal, the old bus station).

Only if Nairnites are prepared to devote time and effort, take part in meetings, and exert influence effectively by using the channels that are available, will we get the kind of Nairn we want. So let's see more residents at Community Council meetings - let's see a unified Community Council - let's make sure our elected councillors know that they are accountable. If we want to make this town better, we have to be prepared to stand up, speak up, and act... '


Anonymous said...

What's been destroyed on the east of Nairn? I don't see four storey buildings, high density housing, a new town centre, business centre, leisure centre, or anything remotely similar in terms of scale to what was being proposed for Sandown.

- Brian

specsaver said...

When was the last time you had your eyes checked.The houses at Lochloy are sitting on top of a hill,which once was part of the Golf Course,and a beautiful part of the town.What is it now,just a collection of dolls houses?

Jane Harkiss said...


Anonymous said...

Yes, those new flats are directly behind my home, so I can see them quite clearly. :)

I can't see any suggestion of the Lochloy development being a part of the golf course - Microsoft Maps still shows the area as grazing land.

Whether the flats were a good idea or not is spilt milk - they are there regardless, but at least they have the saving grace of not rising above the skyline because of their lower elevation to the surrounding development. Yes, I'd prefer open views of Sutherland, no they weren't a great idea, but they are there now, and could have been far worse (like, four storey buildings as proposed for Sandown!).

Also, the density of housing in Lochloy is nothing like that proposed for Sandown, and the Lochloy development has brought in a lot of young families and business owners who have invested and employed in Nairn, not to mention brought in extra taxes and retail sales for the High Street, even when doing main shopping in Inverness of Forres.

To therefore claim the area has been destroyed, or claim comparison to Sandown, I don't think really works too well. :)

- Brian

Anonymous said...

Try the Local Maps then,or ask a golfer.Im sure they will keep you right.If that don't work you could always try Google.

bring in the new said...


For many, many years Locally Road leading out of Nairn consisted of a golf course and open countryside. The new development now stretches so far east I’m beginning to wonder as to when it will meet Auldearn, rooftops are clearly seen as you enter Nairn on the A96 and are especially noticeable as many of the dwellings are tiled in attractive red tiles (Blends into real slate seamlessly!)

It may be true that the Lochloy development has attracted many incomers like yourself, but I don’t see the Jobcentre offering much in the way of Nairn based jobs, if indeed as you claim the development has attracted business owners to the area.

What the Lochloy development has clearly brought is overload to the A96. Even when working, traffic flow due this extra set of lights is awful through the town. People might shout bypass but the current roads were all that was on offer when the Lochloy planning consent was given, a bypass (If it ever happens) is many years away. Goodness knows what the traffic will be like once the Sandown development happens?

The new flats you refer to may not block your view as you are on or near the top of a hill, but they will affect plenty of other people.

Microsoft maps are a mishmash of satellite images from different dates so are not really of use for any clear historic purposes.

If Nairn is so wealthy from the taxes raised from new residents why is it we have to sell off more land for housing? Do we want Nairn to be a housing suburb of Inverness or a tourist destination? New housing yes, bad sprawling housing developments no and Lochloy I lump into bad!

bring in the new said...

"For many, many years Locally Road"

I meant Lochloy Road!

Anonymous said...

Just a question - is there a suggestion that there was an older golf course that has now been built over by the Lochloy development? Or is it simply a statement that previously only the Nairn Dunbar golf course followed Lochloy Road?

As for congestion - there's a whole string of traffic lights through Nairn on the A96, and as a major trunk road connecting Inverness to Aberdeen, I can only see traffic congestion getting worse regardless of the Lochloy development. I've got to admit, I'm surprised there's no connection road at the back of Lochloy to the A96 after the industrial estate. I'm under the impression there may be plans to connect it eventually, but it seems that the final overview of the Lochloy development, once completed, has changed significantly over time. One to chase up with the planners, I guess.

I can't challenge the past, only the future - and intelligent development offers the possibility to build for us all in various direct and indirect ways. Sandown in the form submitted wasn't intelligent, and deserved to be challenged. Perhaps there are and will be future developments that may be better embraced, and in doing so, help assert Nairn's independence from Inverness as a force and identity in its own right.

On the issue of jobs - I know someone here built up a restaurant in Fishertown, another either is or is about to start up working initiatives for people with disabilities, and last week I ran ads in the SPP Group papers and looks like I'm taking on up to 30 developers. Maybe not big steps, but many small steps make great strides.


James Logan Ralph said...

Lets hope the Sandown result gets the people of Oor wee toon; both born-n-bred and more recent arrivals, gelled together to push our political leaders to optimise the aforesaid opportunities in the toon centre and prevent any unneccessary intrusion into the countryside whichever side concerned - East West South or indeed North. Developers / Providers or even opportunists can be invited to produce plans for these available spaces on the understanding that until these are used to the benefit of the toon&county dwellers, no other land will be provided until that has been done. As to the out of character Lochloy development(?) - I know what was spread over those fields for many years and what was placed ever so carefully in the old Quarry area and as far as I am concerned you are welcome to What a great place it was for kite flying.

Hugh said...

If you are a developer I’m sure the proposals put forward for Sandown seem highly intelligent as the bottom line is that you want to maximise your investment.
Investors in the housing market are there to make money. You will get away with as much as you can, and hope that the local community don’t want to shave your profits too much before you get the go ahead to build your little boxes.
In the current economic climate it may be that Sandown doesn’t get built on for several years, but at some point in the future it will.
It used to be small local builders that would put up housing developments; the quality of the build and the choice of materials were usually high as their reputations rested on it.
You can always challenge the past but maybe not change it – very good to hear that there will be 30 new jobs based in Nairn.

Anonymous said...

Maybe not four storey buildings, but far worse is proposed with the over sized Sainsburys. I am not sure this could be described as a thing of beauty. Is a plan that was recommended by the same councillors, with the same knowledge that the A96 is already creaking at the seams, and this wonderful superstore will bring with it another 4 sets of traffic lights. That is inconsistency.

Anonymous said...

Hugh, I don't think there will be 30 new jobs based in Nairn (as in bums on seats), I think these are cyber jobs. Didn't see any adverts in the Nairnshire for these either, maybe not all local people then? On the other hand I could be wrong?

Jeremy Taxman said...

The argument that Nairn will benefit from incomers paying taxes is surely questionable. Taxes are paid to our central Government who then doles out some of that money to our Scottish Government, but that is then used for projects throughout Scotland rather than to areas based on their tax raising capabilities.
It is true however that Council tax is in the case of Nairn paid to Highland Council but as we have seen by recent cut backs there isn’t a surplus, it could be said that new residents to the area are putting a strain on already stretched services.
As has been stated already, the Lochloy development seems to have put a blot on our landscape and given us an extra set of traffic light on the A96, I’m at a loss to suggest any positive benefits for Nairn as a whole?

Anonymous said...

"Hugh, I don't think there will be 30 new jobs based in Nairn"

Just to clarify, not all are directly within Nairn - unfortunately, webdevelopers and webdesigners within the town of Nairn are not as common as I beed. While there a number from the town, others come from the surrounding area.

"I think these are cyber jobs."

Indeed, work from home on the internet, at your own pace, in your own time, for £15/hour. I've heard of worst part-time jobs. :)

"Didn't see any adverts in the Nairnshire for these either, maybe not all local people then? On the other hand I could be wrong?"

I sent an advertising enquiry email to the Nairnshire Telegraph but didn't receive a reply, so the ad went into the SPP-owned papers such as Highland News, Inverness Courier, etc.

Hope that helps. :)

master of nothing said...

webdevelopers and webdesigners within the town of Nairn are not as common as I beed.

Oh we're common alright, just choosy about who we work for, especially if they can't spell :)

Should 'beed' read need or breed?

Graisg said...

Chill people!

Anonymous said...

Brian's big mistake?

Sending an email to the Nairnshire! It will take them to 2020 to figure out how to open it. They won't even consider accepting anything unless you prove yourself, which means taking your life in your hands and entering the building.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry folks, this is just the last in the current crop of the aging population who like looking at boring fields and bushes talking nonsense. The next generation will come through and turn nairn into the metropolis it deserves to be!

(Especially when nairn dunbar finally runs it's self into the ground and that land can be used to create the 4, maybe even 5 story buildings we desire!)

Old Crock said...

Wow! How did you work that out.I am surprised you managed to count to five.

Anonymous said...

"Should 'beed' read need or breed?"

Lol! I just wanted to make sure I took time to try and prevent any misunderstandings from development. But strange typos are the price of posting late in the day. :)

- Brian

Anonymous said...

Old Crock said...

"Wow! How did you work that out.I am surprised you managed to count to five."

Point proven! exactly the response that was expected seeing as the exams you were taking in 1878 were so much harder than those being issued today.
Nairn in 2030 = London of the north!

Anonymous said...

Plus Passports I take it.?