Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Graham Marsden writes in support of NICE

Oor Graham has sent us a copy of a letter he recently had published in the local paper. Here it is:

NICE, a Community Interest Company set up by a group of individuals to monitor and guide future development in the locality has been the target of public criticism from various quarters. This is a shame, but may be more about personality than principle.

Why do we need NICE? - There are several reasons why Nairn would benefit from such an organisation, if inclusive and representative. We need someone to argue for the protection of Nairn’s many existing qualities and to monitor and guide Nairn’s future development potential to ensure this is of high quality, designed sensitively and integrated appropriately - whatever the size - and reflects the aspirations of those who live and work here.

Why Now? - Government is relaxing Planning laws and allowing previously unheard of latitude for developers large and small. There is the likelihood of continuing relaxation, so responsibility is being passed more and more to developers to do the right thing when designing new properties - but developers are often consortia set up to develop a specific site, then move on. Also, previously, local objectors have had a significant impact on proposed developments, but these rights too are being eroded, as Government addresses the need to build more homes. Lastly, centralisation is being introduced apace by the Scottish Government. It’s possible that Highland Council will cease to exist in anything like it’s present form over the next decade, with increasing technological replacement of personnel and services.

To snipe and criticise at the only organisation we currently have to protect and influence the future development of Nairn is unhelpful and if it continues, Nairn and it’s population can only be the loser.
If people have comments to make or views to express, then surely better to get involved. I gather NICE has over a thousand members now, but for it to be truly representative, more of us need to sign up. How much better to make our points from within, so we can all influence what it says on our behalf - and NICE can truly say it represents Nairn and it’s community in planning and future development matters.

Graham Marsden

1 comment:

Fly Away said...