Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Highland Council shutting out the community from 'Speakeasy' for developers/landowners?

A lot of concerned folk raising issues over on the APT blog tonight. A new post reads:
'If someone invited you to a Speakeasy, what would be your first thoughts? An illicit liquor shop or drinking club somewhere I suspect. Well, I have come across a few more 'modern' uses of the term whilst 'googling', but not quite with the same meaning as outlined below.It will interest you to know that The A96 Strategic Development Advisor to The Highland Council, Scott Davidson of Halcrow, is organising a 'speakeasy' event aimed at developers. His Invitation reads:
"You are invited to a Speakeasy on the delivery of the A96 Growth Corridor on the Tuesday, 23 June 2009 from 9:00am at the Eden Court, Inverness...""The purpose of the Speakeasy is to allow developers/landowners the opportunity to informally develop views on the delivery of the A96 Framework; particularly with regard to short, medium and long term phasing".
"Developers will be encouraged to contribute on how to phase delivery of the A96 Growth Corridor over the development period. In these considerations representatives from public sector infrastructure providers will be available." (The Highland Council, Transport Scotland and Scottish Water).'
Are the public going to be allowed in? There's a lot more about this over on the APT blog and a list of comments received by way of e-mail from concerned members of the Action Planning Transparency organisation. Get over there and get informed about this latest twist in the A96 Corridor story.
The APT group are also looking for your views and suggestion on this matter.


Nairnbairn said...

At the Sainsburys hearing earlier this week, the Council's attempt to move the goalposts at the last minute and extract additional money from Sainsburys for the pernicious A96 Corridor Plan was described as "outrageous". The official's excuse about an overlooked email, and the rapid backtracking by the Council later in the day, just made Highland Council look even more incompetent.

This latest information is equally outrageous and rather more alarming.

It is profoundly disturbing that the HC appears to be promoting the A96 Corridor Plan ahead of, and in effect independently of, the new Highland-wide Structural Development Plan consultation process. This seems incompatible with the scheme and timetable the HC has set out in its "Making Places" document for consulting publicly on the new Highland-wide plan. Looks almost like they're trying to preempt that, and/or load the dice.

The Council's apparent desire to cosy up to developers and landowners and work out how to "take forward" the A96 Corridor Plan could make it look as if they are fixing things without public scrutiny. Not for the first time.

The future shape and development of Nairn is at risk in all this. We need to keep asking Highland Council - and our elected representatives on it - some very tough questions about what they are playing at.

Nairnac said...

'Speakeasy' is an unfortunate choice of word - a shady place of dubious legality full of even shadier and more dubious characters

Graisg said...

'Speakeasy is perhaps a name better known to the older generation? Perhaps some younger gurnites may not of heard of it.
Click here for the wikiepedia definition

Graisg said...

Better with 'Unfortunate' Nairnac ;-)