Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Supermarket and 12 2-bedroom flats for the Bus Station?

As predicted by Sandy an application for the Bus Station site is now in. Read all the details and see the plans here (under the documents tab).

The design support statement states: " In addition to the parking currently available, 12 new parking spaces will be provided (1 for each apartment)." Comparison is also made between the proposed new building and existing modern buildings nearby: "The mass of the new building is divided by the use of different colours and the materials chosen (render, glass and aluminium standing seam roof) make clear reference to the Nairn Community Centre and New Police Station." The document makes mention of how the builiding would affect the Viewfield landscape: "The surrounding mature trees will help provide an attractive backdrop to the new building and will enhance its setting. The retaining of the neighbouring building to the North West and wall to North East allows sufficient separation between the new building and the trees so that it will not affect the longevity of the trees."

Have a read of the material on the Highland Council e-planning site Gurnites and see what you think. Could this planning application trigger development throughout the heart of the potential Carbuncle award-winning town centre disaster zone?

The application will be discussed by River Community Council in the Community Centre on Tuesday night at 7.30.p.m. The River folk are statutory consultees so their views could go a long way in deciding the fate of this application. Why not try to get along there to the meeting and help them make up their minds?


Anonymous said...

you know, I want to hate this plan because i am confident that proposed supermarket is TESCO.... but I cant help thinking that this could be the catalyst for a great improvement of the Gaza strip.

Jim said...

I haven't seen this plan yet, but as an example of the unrealistic thinking of developers, a scheme published earlier this year showed the bus facilities pushed to the back of the site, and the new buildings positioned close to King Street.

Obviously it was done by persons who were unaware of which bus routes actually use the bus station. The nos 10 and 11 buses ploughing their way along the A96 are not small local minibuses. They are the largest size allowed on the public roads, and simply need a loop route to enable them to halt off King Street.

These buses do not need to be involved in reversing and manoeuvering to reach a stop as far as possible from the High Street.

I hope this new plan is more realistic.

Another bairn from Nairn said...

The design documents are worth a look. Especially this one

Maybe the Gurn, and the Nairnshire Telegraph, might care to reproduce the images?

Not so much a supermarket with some flats attached, as a tower block with a corner-shop at ground level. Interesting also that the parking provision is dedicated to the flats: no public parking for the "supermarket" customers.

Nairnbairn's criticisms may have caused outrage. But is this the kind of design and building that the local community - and Highland Council - favours as the way to improve the appearance of Nairn's town centre? How does this proposal fit in with the masterplan for the town?

With the other sites across the road up for grabs as well, perhaps Nairn is about to get some shiny new carbuncles in place of the old and derelict ones.

Spurtle said...

Carrying over the musical thread from another Gurn topic.....

" They put up a bunch of ugly boxes and Jesus, people bought them "

I wonder how our architectually high-brow friends at Urban Realm, with their inclusion of Nairn in the Plook on the Plinth candidates list, would have to say about the design for this proposed building.
( perhaps Nairnbairn could forward them the designs for pre-inclusion into some future 'zit building' award)

Personally, I think it shows no imagination, smacks of maximum build density on minimum plot and must have taken until at least 10.30am on the first day to complete the design.

Love them or hate them , the Community Centre, the Police Station and the hospital can be cited of good examples of how modern buildingscan be practical and distinctive yet still sit well with more traditional buildings in the town.

There is no doubt that the A96 dereliction needs sorting but surely they could have found someone to apply a greater degree of creativity in designing a building for the site in question.

I sincerely hope they intend to electrify the aluminium roof panels too. With a roof pitch of what looks like about 20 degrees they are simply going to create another seagull sanctuary on the site, only 25 feet higher than it is at the moment

It would be nice to think that someone in the planning department could get them to knock a few corners off, and modify the roof line, perhaps even some curved elements....... but I forget that the planning department don't do aesthetics.

Some of the the oldest guidance offered on architecture recommended that a building should meet obligations of utilitas, firmitas and venustas.

This building will satisfy the first two rules , in that it'll be practical for the people using it and it's highly unlikely to fall down but, is it likely to delight anyone ?

I don't think so and that's quite sad because it would be just as easy to build it to do so.

Graisg said...

What would be wrong with Tescos coming to Nairn - wouldn't more competition for the Co-op and Sainsburys be a good thing?

Graisg said...

@ Another Bairn fae Nairn, the links to individual PDF's don't work for me. The best way to get there is to head for the application page and click on "documents" and go from there.
It's simple enough for anyone with a PC who has already got this far. If anyone is really bothered they will browse the plans

One could be tempted to say it's cheap and cheerful(?) yes, but this is a situation where the developer has most of the cards. Will the community turn him down. This observer suspects not, we need that eyesore cleaned up and another supermarket/corner shop would be cool too - there may be calls for a few tweaks in the design however - how about a nice curved tower on the side like the police station?

Nairnbairn - where are you?

Nimby'ish said...

As per usual with any new build the floor area for each flat is very small maximising the return for the developer rather than giving buyers a pleasant living environment. Three stories high means they will be visible for a long way, and the windows will overlook many properties. Parking provision is minimal. If the flats are occupied by couples they might well need two spaces for each household. The new shop might well attract people to visit in their cars, and already the area has to support parking for the fast food outlet
Despite the bus station being out of action for many years, the area is still used by busses, this development will greatly reduce the available space.
Another supermarket? Proven that supermarkets kill High Streets, do we really want to put further pressure on Nairn's current retailers?
Much has already be made of the number of residential properties currently for sale in Nairn, do we need more to be built just now?
All too often a developer is given the green light only for us to be appalled by the finished development. No doubt Sandy Park would be happy to see the revenue this would bring, but would the town really be happy with the visual of the new 3 storey building?

Graisg said...

@ Nimby'ish, Parking isn't as big an issue as you might think in planning terms.
There is an assumption when it comes to new buildings in town centres that other parking may be nearby or a short walk away.
Remember the application to crowd a load of houses onto the back of the former Woolies store (now thankfully occupied by Nickle and Dime). It was access that got that knocked back, not parking. If you have the time go and have a browse of the application for flats inthe Rosebank Church building.
This observer seems to remember, though I may be wrong, that there was a presumption that some residents would have to park elsewhere.
This situation is possible because of Scottish Government instructions to planners it seems.

Nimby'ish said...


I appreciate the planning laws re parking. I was just giving my personal common sense observations having browsed the plans, and just because planning allows new properties to be put up with little or no parking provision that doesn't mean we have to roll over and accept it?

Nairnac said...

As always, the developer wants to push the boundaries of what might seem acceptable. To me, a three story building may have looked OK, but with fourth it becomes a bit out of proportion, and while architecture students are unlikely to flock from far and wide to marvel at it, it is obviously an improvement on the current eyesore, and maybe with some tweeks to the design it could look a bit more intersesting, but I don't have a better proposal for an alternative, so I suppose for me it's a step in the right direction.

jayteescot1 said...

After years of neglect and bleating about the condition of the bus station, I think this is a plan worth serious consideration. Looking at the online plans, I am of the opinion that it is one floor too high ! It will look much better in every sense if a floor was removed and the roof pitch increased by at least 5 degrees.
I would advise the Planners to insist that the overall height be reduced to conform to the surrounding buildings and views.
Another supermarket even if small should be welcomed to give the Town a bit more life and choice.

Even with a reduced height it should still be profitable for a developer.

Mad Idea said...

Who would want to live next door to a noisy fire station? These fire engines leave with siren blaring and come back at all times of the day or night. They have to be washed and serviced before being parked until the next time. And have you heard how loud their trucks are on a Thursday night when they are training so no sleep for the children until after 10pm. And don't forget you will have no privacy when the training tower is in use at your bedroom window level.Daft Idea.

nairnbairn's official spokesman said...

"Nairnbairn where are you?", asks Graisg....

Nairnbairn has asked me to say, quoting Mark Twain, that reports of his death are greatly exaggerated.

Contrary to the cynical comments of some, Nairnbairn is not a developer hoping to make a killing, nor a snob opposed to development, but a local resident who cares about this town, wants to see it improved, and so has been surprised and disappointed by the amount of vitriol and hostility expressed in the "carbuncle" debate, which ought to have been seen as an opportunity rather than a threat.

If Nairnbairn is "sad", it is because public pressure, local polls, and community comment have had so little effect on those who make decisions. Nairnbairn had begun to think that nothing short of the "nuclear option" would make people sit up and take notice.

Nairnbairn isn't hiding, but has briefly gone quiet because - thankfully - there are obviously other 'bairns, and fine Gurnites like Spurtle, Nimby'ish, Iain and Nairnac, who are also prepared to speak up for good design and sensible building. Nairnbairn intends to continue to campaign for improvements to the town centre, and hopes local residents will support attempts to influence local planners and developers to do better.

CAN said...

I'm sorry but looking at the plans I would say that this building is just not ugly enough to fit in with the low standards which clearly we hold in Nairn.

We want this carbuncle award and don't want it derailed by neat modern architecture replacing the run down bus station

This planning application must be turned down or goodness knows what we might get next in place of the old CC, garage, church etc

On behalf of

CAN - Carbuncle Award Nairn

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else happen to think that the Community Centre is a very ugly building? The damage has already been done on that side of the street.

ann onymous said...

I'm not against this as such, but due to this being on a busy main road (nae sight or sign of a bypass for a few years yet to bear in mind here!), next to a Fire Station, a bus station and a take away that's open until the wee small hours - who would seriously consider buying a home there?! And do we really need another "residential" development on the A96?

By all means do something with the old bus station - but more flats? From what I have seen of the designs they're not big enough for anyone other than a single person to live in, despite them being "2" bedroomed.

I would say no to more residential housing within that stretch of the A96 but yes to the bus station area being put to use as a shop.

Dare I suggest Farmfoods/Poundland? Or does Nairn consider itself too posh for the likes of those types of shop?!

Jane Harkiss said...

Well for may part, a bust station and a takeaway that stays open til 4 or 5 am is a bit of a 'must have' actually. Two boxes that definately need to be ticked.

Jane Harkiss said...

Ooooppps - silly me! I meant 'bus' station, not 'bust' station! bit of a Freudian slip, methinks...?

Aggrieved said...

Sigh. I had to laugh when I read, "design inspiration". It is a box, and a big one at that. Oh but it has some colured panels on it, to make it look less like a big old grey box.

Come of guys, all those years studying architecture and this is what you come up with.

Stan the Man said...

A drive in brothel thats the answer
Nairn could have its own " Chicken Ranch" its on a major road, its easy to find, I have a backer who lives in the States & is willing to put a lot of sheckles in this new venture,as this comment is published our designers are over in Italy seeking out the finest marble for the staircase, in China collecting silk for the bedsheets,in Paris at an exclusive fashion house who are to design the staffs costumes,& other far corners of the world seeking out other materials, but my backer would through the courtesy of The Gurn like to do a bit of market research to find if those in high places would approve or would it be better to have it situated in another town that does not suffer from plooks.

Jane Harkiss said...

Oh my dear good people! Do you not see, that there must always be the Fire, the Bus and the Takeaway? It is essential for the human and manimal spirit to truly flourish, to be wise, healthy and whole. Without these fun and mental elements, we are but husks...

Jane Harkiss said...

Stan my good man, your suggestion is, as they say, as sound as the pound! may I proffer my services for this groundbreaking venture? In addition to being an internationally reknowned astrologist, I am also Nairnshire's only fully-qualified Tantric Sex instructor (appointments always available). I feel confident that my credentials will not fail to add considerable clout to your vision that is the 'Chicken Ranch'. Perhaps we can do lunch in the takewaway, whilst Skyping your Stateside backer?

Jane Harkiss said...

Take my word for it, tantric sex isn't all it's cracked up to be.