"The Highland-wide Development Plan has its day before the Scottish Office Reporter in Eden Court next week and the plan also raised its ugly head at Wednesday night’s Community Councils Forum. A constant critic of the plan Joan Noble told the meeting:
It’s actually been very aspirational coming from HIE and population growth aspirations in 2006, none of it bears any relation to reality and especially now with the recession upon us. None of it has been revised downwards from the point of numbers. They’re still using high migration scenarios which we’ve never reached, we’ve never reached post-war migration scenarios over the last 10 years even with the big numbers of Eastern Europeans coming in 2006. So this is the sort of thing we are facing with the Highland-wide Development Plan. We are looking at a model which is based on something which is never going to happen. Now we’ve said this to Malcolm MacLeod at numerous meetings and all he says are things like; “Do you not share our vision,” and we say “No, it’s rubbish.” That’s as far as it gets and it’s still in the planning. Every single meeting he’s gone into has said this is not credible and here we are at the last gasp with the Reporter’s examination having to go through it all again with these population estimates. Nairn is projected to have 1700 people in the next 20 years and they’re catering for 9,600. What planet are we on? This is the thing that is really getting people feeling that there is a democratic deficit. We’re talking sense, I’m sorry but we are and all we get is a lot of rubbish, which is dangerous rubbish for a town which depends on a green environment and tourism. It’s not that we want to keep people out, It’s just that we want sensible growth in line with what has gone on in the past."