Nairn's West Councillors present Brian Stewart, Graham Vine, Jimmy Ferguson and their Suburban Colleagues Dick Youngson and Alistair Noble made some valuable contributions to the debate.
River’s Chair Jeanne Tolmie was also chairing the combined meeting and she asked Dick Youngson to open the debate.
Dick told the meeting that it had been clearly conveyed that the Council’s options for the town centre site were not the best ones. Dick wants to see the existing old buildings retained and used imaginatively and feels that the old School should not be used for offices but something that would be more beneficial to Nairn’s tourism industry. This was a point taken up by Graham Vine later who also thought that this building would be better used by the private sector instead of becoming another ‘sterile’ area.
Dr Alistair Noble again stressed who the bus station area should be taken into an regeneration plans.
The meeting progressed with a memorable quote from Graham Vine, ‘Flats will just sterilise the town centre.’
Brian Stewart then asked the meeting to consider what the area under consideration actually was, was it a transit zone, an entrance to the High Street or a destination in its own right.
The meeting then seemed to focus itself in what was perhaps the inevitable direction when Jim Ferguson spoke:‘We as a community have a Common Good fund which owns Sandown, and maybe there’s a case here for us to actually in some way realise some of the values of Sandown Common Good and we as a community take ownership of the Town Centre. It may require us approaching the owners of these bits of land and asking them to donate them into the Common Good Fund and then as a Common Good project that the Community can get behind and come up with something that is suitable for the town centre along the lines of what everyone has been suggesting.’
More from the Combined Community Councils meeting will be posted on the Gurn this weekend if time permits.