The Future South Nairn - Inbhir Narann a Deas. Frozen today but could the area generate some heated debate on Wednesday night?
The joint meeting of Nairn’s Community Councils will be held in the URC hall on Wednesday night at with Tommy Hogg in the chair.
On the agenda are Nairn South, a summer events programme, the town centre, coastal defences, A96 traffic management and Nairn buses.
The first item has the potential to pull in a few punters. With two rival developers on the starters blocks and the proximity of Gordons Sawmill plus the Firhall residential accommodation, there could be a large turnout just for that one. The Gurn understands that high heid yins from the Highland Council’s planning department will be in attendance and they usually attract some pointed questions from sections of the usual suspects. Will Joan and Alistair Noble have some difficult questions for them this time round too? Any forum that debates Nairn planning matters can get quite heated and it will be interesting to see if antipathy towards the Highland Wide Development Plan still extends beyond “the old Sandown lags” or whether a feeling of resignation has crept in.
The last time a planning application went in for
South Nairn the residents of Firhall penned dozens of objections. It may be
that the geographical concept of a village at Firhall was doomed from the start
in terms of location – the town is just a field away and was bound to extend in
that direction one day. Is it going to come sooner than many anticipated
however? Highland Council think that a considerable amount of construction
could go ahead on existing traffic models. Here’s a quote from a document that was approved by the Council last week: “2.2 The main issues that were
highlighted and agreed were: and that item is “that a maximum of 320 houses
could be built as supported by existing traffic impact assessment”. The Gurn
understands that River CC’s position is that there should be no development
until the by–pass and other infrastructure is in place. That is a view that the
planners could quiet easily brush aside given past performance however.
Anyone with any thoughts on South Nairn might wish to get along to the Joint CC meeting on Wednesday and express their feelings.
Michael Green will be present too to discuss a programme of Summer Events for Nairn. Before the end of last year he spoke of how he envisaged a programme of events that would generate cash that would enable further ideas to reach fruition and, in their turn, generate increasing visitor numbers thus benefiting local business and employment. It will be interesting to see what progress he has made and what new ideas, or information have materialised. The concept of a self-financing initiative that will not have recourse to the public purse will be attractive to many and the games day Beer Tent demonstrated the potential.
The first two items will take up a lot of time but there will be the other matters to discuss. Take Coastal Defences for instance. The recent storms showed us one or two spots along the seafront that could do with some additional defences. If sea levels are rising though, what are the areas that should receive priority for protection? Will golf courses have to be left to their fate for example if funds are needed to protect habitation? Perhaps that is not the direction that the meeting will take but both national and local government might have to take some difficult decisions about what to protect in the cash-strapped future that lies ahead of us.
The town centre is on the agenda too, could there be further friction here between River CC members and the NICE folk? River, including the Chair Tommy, have been critical of NICE recently and decided not to give them any further funding. The ranks of the other CCs are not short of NICE members, could there be friction here?
There will probably be no time for AOCB and it is a pity to see that the proposal for a Recycling Centre is not on the agenda but it is fair to say that so often, good proposals that would benefit the community get talked about, then talked about and then talked about a bit more and then forgotten. Maybe the recycling issue can break the mould and Tommy or someone else will call a public meeting devoted to recycling to see if there is enough interest, beyond the usual suspects to take the idea forward, and, among other things, create two or three jobs in Nairn.