Earlier today (Wednesday) Rosemary Young read out a letter that had been sent to Nairn Community Councils and others. It was a letter informing West of a combined preliminary funding bid for lottery cash for the entire south field of the Sandown lands, that is to say the area bordered by the A96, Sandown Road, the properties on Wyvis Road and the bridle path to the west. The plan is to include more allotments, after the opening of Mill Road there is renewed interest in obtaining plots and the waiting list is growing once again. There are to be the proposed wetlands area and play space for children of all ages. The three groups involved in the bid are Nairn Allotment Society, The Nairn Woodlands and Wetlands Association and Nairn Suburban Community Council.
The letter prompted some debate amongst the Councillors present, including Tommy Hogg of River CC who was sitting on the public benches as an observer. Brian Stewart remarked that the bid was 25% of the whole area zoned. He summed up his feelings by raising three points and he told the meeting:
“We should all be supportive of this initiative – not the details necessarily but the idea of proposing or bidding for a chunk of Sandown to be dedicated to Green Space, Wetlands, nature, etc. As an idea that is something that Sandown should include and it is something that the community does have an interest and an enthusiasm and the willingness to have that kind of thing and I support it for that reason. The second point is that this bid, or this green space in it, should not rule out or should not prejudice the scope to have other green space on Sandown. This shouldn’t be the only bit of green. Apart from this which is a green bid the overall approach to Sandown is that there should be a balanced mix of thoughtfully designed and laid out, not all green field and not all car park but a balanced mix which is thoughtfully designed to preserve and protect the views to deliver a kind of attractive gateway to the town, and ultimately to be kind of integrated or reconciled with the other ides that will emerge for the Cawdor Delnies development.
Graham Vine said that there might be an argument for some houses on the periphery of the field and thus some more green space in the northern field rather than having the north field all houses and the south field all green. Seonaid Armstrong spoke of the original plan for houses with gable ends and a fence up against the A96 and said that it was important to think of the quality of life with houses that were attractive and sufficiently spaced apart with a design that was liveable.
Rosemary Young closed this item on the agenda by stating that the West CC would send a response saying that they supported the the bid but that they didn’t want to see a lack of green space lost because all that is taken up as green space.
Qualified support then from the West, looks like the ball is well and truly rolling in advance of the Highland Council’s forthcoming Sandown development brief consultation. This observer wishes the bid well and is certain many, many gurnites will only be to happy to support the concept outlined by the three organisations.
Coming soon on the Gurn, more from the West meeting. Affordable accommodation – are locals getting a fair chance? Busting the waste, the latest on the proposal by Tommy Hogg and Graham Vine and a few other items.