The Reporter wifie said no but the minister from the Scottish Government he say yes!!! Rejoice Gurnites! The Co-op can do what they like now! Nairn to get a supermarket fit for the new millennium. All praise be to the Scottish Government!
+++ Jean Tolmie tells the Gurn: ' A wonderful Christmas present for Nairn!'+++
Here's the guts of the Scottish Ministers' reasoning that allows us to have a decent supermarket:
'7. The Scottish Ministers note the Reporter's findings of fact and agree that the proposal is contrary to the development plan. The Reporter has identified five main material considerations in this case, as set out and discussed in Chapters 10 and 11 of the report.
The Scottish Ministers accept that these are all material considerations, but do not agree that the public interest in this case lies with refusing planning permission. The Scottish Ministers consider that significant weight should be afforded to the following matters which are addressed in the report, and that these material considerations indicate that planning permission should be granted:
• there is likely to be benefit to the Nairn economy resulting from reduced leakage of retail expenditure (both convenience and comparison shopping) from the town which this development is expected to achieve;
• although the proposed redevelopment of the Somerfield site will provide a larger replacement store it is significantly smaller than the proposed store at Balmakeith and therefore likely to be less effective in reducing leakage of retail expenditure from Nairn;
• public support for the supermarket by Nairn residents reflects a reasonable aspiration to have a larger supermarket and wider range of goods than the size of store the Somerfield site can accommodate;
• there is no other suitable town centre or edge of centre site which is realistically available and large enough to accommodate the proposed development;
• the site is within reasonable walking distance of the town centre;
• the recommended conditions limiting the amount and range of non-food floorspace will mitigate impacts of the development on the viability and vitality of the town centre and on efforts to regenerate it;
• a contribution towards town centre improvement works, to be secured through a Section 75 Agreement, will further mitigate impacts on regeneration of the town centre; and
• the site can accommodate the development proposed without significant detriment to residential amenity and with sufficient landscaping.'
The Gurn congratulates all those who campaigned long and hard to get this result, especially Jean Tolmie and Margaret MacKintosh and their colleagues on the River Community Council.