Saturday, April 21, 2012

Controversial Bus Station garage plans recommended for approval

The controversial planning application for 12 flats and a supermarket/retail unit at the bus station has been recommended for approval by the planning officers and will go before the Council’s planning committee on the 24th of this month (next Tuesday).

Transport Scotland have withdrawn their objection after receiving a traffic impact assessment but have insisted on changes to footpath arrangements. There were concerns about parking too but
further information provided by the developer seems to have smoothed the waters somewhat. The document states:

“The applicant produced an assessment of existing public car parking in the local area which included the car park adjacent to the site, and the 3 public car parks on the opposite side of the A96. The car parks were monitored at 4 different times of day over a 48 hour period, and the results found that out of a total of 211 available spaces there was an average of 86 free spaces at 09.00, 65 free spaces at 13.30, 101 free spaces at 16.30 and 149 free spaces at 18.00.”

The developer is going to have to put his hand in his pocket however, the document continues:

“However, in lieu of dedicated parking and in line with Council policy, it is reasonable to request a contribution towards the upgrade of the car park and reconfiguration of the bus halt facilities, and the developer has stated that he is willing to make such a contribution. This would be of an amount to be agreed with the Council post-decision but prior to the issue of consent and would take the form of a ring fenced payment or Section 75 legal agreement.”

It certainly would be a big step forward if buses didn’t have to waste time crossing the flow of traffic twice as they traveled through Nairn westward to Inverness. Who would live in the accommodation then? Again from the document:

“The applicant has confirmed that the intention is that all 12 flats will be affordable units to be secured by either Highland Council or a Registered Social Landlord.”

One of the major objections raised by NICE and the West Community Council
Was that the site should be developed as part of an overall strategy including the other parts of the town centre across the road. A vision for an ideal world perhaps as the report states:

It is agreed that the ideal scenario would be for the wider site to come forward as a single, cohesive proposal, however the applicant has made it clear that he does not control the other sites referred to and that the timeframe under which they may or may not be  implemented is likely to be protracted given the fragmented ownership/lease of buildings and ground affected.”
Any Gurnites wishing to read more can find the full document here.

1 comment:

growtosow said...

hope they can get on with this. one less eye sore on our towns landscape but still a few that remain.