First up after the planners spoke at the Combined CC meeting at the URC hall on Wednesday night were West Community Council. Chair of the Westies, Rosemary, introduced Brian. (Rosemary Young and Brian Stewart, for those unacquainted with all the Gurnshire usual suspects)
Brian Stewart thanked Malcom MacLeod for engaging with the community. He said, “ I think Malcom was right to say that the people interested are the landowners and Gordons sawmill, the other people who have an interest are the community of Nairn, which I think is really why it is excellent that you have engaged and want to take the community’s views into account. I notice also that the document that went to PED last week is labelled as an interim document and that the revised or final one will take on board the results of this process which is good.
We recognise and accept that the eventual development of the area described as Nairn South, is part of the organic expansion of the town and that certainly we welcome the recognition which is already clear in the document of the interest in safeguarding the sawmill. We have a number of specific and detailed comments which I am happy to submit in writing between now and the deadline.
I can summarise them by saying our overriding concern is that development should be proportionate, should fit into the landscape, and should deliver benefit to the town in terms of amenity, sustainable employment and diversified local economic activity. In other words the development should not just be another extensive housing estate.
We also think it is essential that adequate infrastructure should be in place and that the crucial issues of transport and access and the relationship with the proposed bypass should be resolved and agreed before development proceeds.
We have some concerns about the proposed phasing that is outlined in this draft. We are actually not persuaded of the premise in the existing draft that the initial phases can proceed ahead of a firm and funded decision on the construction of a bypass and with only minimal modifications to the existing roads, junctions and, in particular, that rail underpass.
We also consider that the total of 520 houses in Phases 1 and 2 is inappropriate and by our reading is in excess of that indicated in the Government Reporter’s examination of the Highland-wide Local Development plan.
We do have a number of very specific and detailed comments about all the different aspects of all the draft. I won’t bore you with them now but I’m certainly happy to speak to any of them if the points come up. Thank your Mr Chairman.”