Posted elsewhere as a comment but brings to our attention several important points and thus worthy of top billing:
There is no doubt that the arrival of Sainbury's will do a lot to stem the leakage of shoppers away from the town. If forecasts are correct , it may even attract people from elsewhere, particularly those looking for a change from Asda/Tesco, and those whose first choice grocery shopping , prior to moving into the area, was done at Sainsbury's.
In these circumstances, there is a chance that the High Street may not be affected too badly. With the streetscape scheme and some promotion at the new Sainsbury's store, it may even benefit.
The substantial reduction in floor area of the non-food units is a sensible approach. After all, it was the thought of improved supermarket facilities that got everyone excited, not the prospect of a 'Suite Centre', or a similar aircraft hanger type retail unit on the edge of town.
I hope that the developers follow the recommendations on the details of the site from the reporter, regarding the impact of the development on those living close by. There are considerations to be made in both the layout of the site, the architecture of the buildings and the measures taken to reduce noise and light impact. Those currently celebrating this news should be magnanimous in victory and encourage Sainbury's to genuinely consider the needs of those living close by.
Anyone who has experienced the prospect of an imposing development on their doorstep knows that having the understanding and consideration of others in the community makes a difficult time more bearable (as has been recently experienced at Gurn headquarters I believe).
When it comes to traffic though, I would urge anyone thinking that the town will not be impacted by this new development to spend some time to read either the Scottish Government or DPEA reporters findings, particularly the Conditions/Appendix 1 section.
I have no doubt there is a need for a better supermarket in Nairn but,along with the new Sainsbury's and non –food units , we are going to get four completely new sets of traffic lights, one new roundabout and at least one new pedestrian controlled crossing. All of this new road furniture will be on the A96 itself. There may also be another pedestrian controlled crossing on the A939 Grantown Road. It is mentioned in the report but it may be the details may possibly be contained in the 'green transport plan' that has to be produced.
Now I don’t about anyone else but, if someone said to me –
“ Right, we’ve got a busy wee town, bit of a bottleneck on the A96. Sometime over the next 5-7 years the road through this town is forecast to reach its maximum traffic capacity at peak travel times. So , we’re going to stick in four new traffic lights, a new roundabout and a couple of pedestrian crossings.........................What do you think?..... “
Call me a maverick but I’m prepared to stick my ironic neck out on this one and say “ Fantastic, guaranteed to make the traffic flow so much better.”
The requirement for the traffic lights and other road engineering works has always been there in this application, some folks just didn’t seem to get a grasp of the potential impact though. It might actually be quicker at times for the people of Forres to get to Sainsbury’s at Balmakeith, than the people from the West end of Nairn.
So could it be that, ultimately, the greatest legacy that Sainsbury’s bring to Nairn is not one of an improved range of groceries and Jamie Oliver’s face plastered all over the town but that the need for a bypass is catapulted much nearer the top of Transport Scotland’s agenda.
Thanks Spurtle. I agree that Sainsbury's should do the maximum for the residents nearby including the bund and landscaped barrier and we will be delighted to highlight any outstanding issues the two residential objectors feel they have with the company.
For first-time readers, there has been quite a lot of comment received so far and this can be read on a previous article .