Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"The six Nairnshire Community Councils are hereby making a serious complaint about the alleged deliberate misleading of councillors by the planning department of Highland Council."

The anger and the sense of injustice felt in Nairnshire over last week's South Nairn planning decision is reflected in a letter signed by all six Nairnshire Community Councils and addressed to the Chief Executive of Highland Council Steve Barron. The Gurn has received a copy of the letter, here is the text from the body of the letter below. We hope to put a copy of the letter and all the appendices on line as soon as time permits. 

" Dear Mr.  Barron
Re: South Planning Applications Committee 20/08/2013    Nairn South Development

The six Nairnshire Community Councils are hereby making a serious complaint about the alleged deliberate misleading of councillors by the planning department of Highland Council. 

We invite you to investigate the alleged deliberate misrepresentation of their statutory responses to the Nairn South development.

In 2011 Nairn River, Nairn West and Cawdor all sent letters of objections/representations. Nairn River also objected to bridge safety proposals.    Copies attached. (appendices 1, 2, 3, 4)

On January 23rd 2013 the three Nairn Community Councils all attended a joint meeting about Nairn South in the United Reformed Church at the request of Brian Mackenzie. He asked if Malcolm Macleod could attend and this was welcomed. We attach the minute of that meeting. Clearly there was unanimous opposition from all three Community Councils to the Nairn South proposals. Both Malcolm Macleod and Brian Mackenzie were in no doubt about this and they both heard the opposition from all attending. We also have an audio recording of this meeting. (appendix 5)

The three Nairn Community Councils followed this up with separate written objections. Copies attached. (appendices 6, 7, 8)

There was then, on 25/04/2013 in Nairn Community Centre, a joint meeting of all eight Community Councils  including Croy and Ardersier,  where all eight agreed to emphasise to HC  their objection to these developments until the basic infrastructure problems were solved. Copy attached (appendix 9)              this letter was sent to HC and widely distributed. Nairn Suburban also objected to the Allenby proposal and cross referenced all the Community Councils previous objections. (appendix 10)

We were therefore amazed to see it stated in the papers for the meeting that, specifically,  Nairn River and Cawdor had not objected, and apart from Nairn West, the objections from all the other community councils were not recorded or mentioned.

In spite of attending the meeting of 23rd January 2013 and having  received  all these written objections/ submissions, Malcolm Macleod reinforced the misinformation at the 20th August 2013 planning meeting by speaking to a slide which specifically stated  ‘Objection from Nairn West CC’    ‘No objection from Cawdor...CC and Nairn River CC’.  There was no mention of the other five Community Councils’ objections/submissions.

We believe this was an apparent deliberate attempt to mislead the councillors into approving this proposal.
If your investigation finds this complaint upheld we will expect you to take the necessary action.

Please inform us about what other avenues of redress are open to us.  We discussed the ombudsman, judicial review and police investigation of alleged fraud. Are there others, for example, professional bodies?
This complaint will be circulated to our four councillors, MP, MSPs and the press.

Signed by all Nairn shire Community councils

Nairn River CC                                         Nairn Suburban CC                                      Nairn West CC 

Cawdor& West Nairnshire CC                      Auldearn CC                        Glenferness & "

Copy of letter here. 

Copies of appendices below


Anonymous said...

What was it Liz said with regard to the planning application and outcome, oh yes... "the outcome was a fait accompli"

I reckon Nairn's community councils can jump up and down all they want but it's not going to change matters, we're ruled by Inverness. Get used to it

Anonymous said...

" hereby making a serious complaint "

As opposed to a ridiculous, informal or humourous complaint?

If this represents the collective intelligence of our councils, god help us!

As for Liz and her "fait accompli" statement, was that her get out of jail card as she did not attend?

Was the decision to sting the Nairn common good fund for the costs/losses of the Sandown mess a "fait accompli" too or did our local Councillors band together and lobby for a better solution to benifit the Nairn Common Good?

Perhaps a more apathetic approach was taken...?

Anonymous said...

and as usual,hee haw will be done about it,i always thought that councillors were elected to act on our behalf and wishes,obviously this isn't the case,its a case of,ach bugger them,im alright
disgruntled taxpayer.

Anonymous said...

I don't expect this letter will make one bit of difference. An apologetic reply followed by an internal enquiry that will result in findings of merely oversight. Wait and see, you read it here first !

Anonymous said...

Looks like a megaphone is needed for the voice of Nairn nowadays. Ridiculous it has to come to this. Whatever happened to the power and skills required to promote positive communication skills and networking for the benefit of all :???.

Anonymous said...

Liz a prisoner of SNP policy now and unable to speak for Nairn?

APTSec said...

Now, there seems to be some confusion here. There is a planning application for Nairn South and then there is a consultation on a development brief for the area. I was not aware that these things were interchangeable.

Anonymous said...

Bring back Watson, Whitelaw, Bochel and Anderson, PLEASE.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me and others I've spoken with that 'oor' Liz is no longer ours post the SNP gaining control of Highland Council.

This is a sad state of affairs as over the years Liz affirmed herself as a very capable local politician always looking out for Nairn but it would seem that this is no longer so

She is a 'fait accompli' in more ways than one and much as I don't want to can only assume that herself and Colin now have to confirm to the party line on all matters, and that includes Nairn

Her compromised position is a great loss to Nairn

APTSec said...

The 'fait accompli'


16. Nairn South Strategic Masterplan


'During discussion, Nairn Member Mr M Green, having explained that Nairn Provost Mrs L MacDonald had been unable to attend the afternoon session of the Committee, reiterated local concerns concerning the principle of commencing development ahead of delivery of the A96(T) bypass, particularly given the current volume of traffic on Cawdor Road/Balblair Road and the scope for an increase in local “rat runs”; and also the potential negative impact on the future of the sawmill, an important local employer. He hoped that, should the Masterplan be approved, solutions to these issues could be found, in cooperation with the local community. He proposed in particular that there be a pause in construction on completion of 100 units, and a review at that time of the traffic assessment, in consultation with the community.

In addressing the various comments made, Members were reminded that the principle of development on this site, ahead of provision of the bypass, had been supported in the Council’s Highland-wide Local Development Plan. The Council could not therefore defend introducing a requirement now for development to await the bypass; any such change of position would increase the likelihood of an appeal on the grounds of non-determination or against refusal of planning permission being successful, and of the Council thus losing its capacity to control the roll-out of the development programme. Members were also advised that existing professional transport assessments had found that the existing road network was sufficient to cope with the early phases of development. It was acknowledged, however, that further assessments would be required for subsequent phases.'

The consultation report that was provided for members is at the link below


But wait a minute, what does it actually say in the HWLDP?????

See next comment

APTSec said...


It says, for developments in the A96:

"The Council recognises that infrastructure capacity needs to be increased to accommodate new development and accordingly the policy framework will resist
developments beyond the first phases as set out in this spatial strategy until long term transport and other improvements have been designed and a means of funding
these has been agreed." AND,

"Developments set out in the early period of this Local Development Plan (2011-2016) will only be supported subject to the provision of interim infrastructure
improvements as set out in the Plan."

It seems to me the 'early period' is 2011-2016.

What does the HwLDP say about Nairn????????

IT SAYS!!!!!!!!

"14.2 The intention set out in this spatial strategy is to focus short term development at Lochloy, Sandown and initial phases at Delnies and Nairn South. Nairn South may have the potential to serve much of the longer term housing requirements for Nairn
subject to transport infrastructure improvements being put in place."


"14.3 The development of Nairn must be seen in the context of long term aspirations for a bypass and the Council will continue to lobby Scottish Government for the funding
and design work to be progressed."


"14.4 To meet the identified gross housing land requirement for the Nairn area, land allocations have been brought forward to offer choice and flexibility in the land
supply. Taken together the land now identified in the Nairn area has the capacity to meet the following housing requirements across all sites."


120 units for Nairn South 2011-2016. (Alongside other allocations)

AS far as I can see that is all the local plan supports, 120 units and after that you are back to talking about major infrastructure provision to complete the rest of the development.

The map on page 52 may be confusing but that is not what the earlier text states. It also does not help understanding when it is stated on page 56 that the residential component for 2011-2016 will be limited to 250 houses???

Anonymous said...

Time to reflect on the folly of Local Government Reorganisation in 1996 - some 17 years since the demise of Nairn District Council. The real power now rests with the Highland Council in Inverness - local democracy is non existant and our 4 area councillors are unable to act for the common good of the local community.

Anonymous said...

Does Liz's silence on this matter speak volumes ? Surely she has some response regarding local representation versus party loyalty !
Is she Nairn provost or SNP puppet ?

APTSec said...

Two quotes from Malcolm Macleod of THC planning re infrastructure to support the proposed A96 Corridor associated developments:

17 Sept 2009 (at an APT meeting)

'No application will be granted if no infrastructure. We’re still awaiting STPR outcomes. This is “not going to happen on a wish and a hope”.'

23 Jan 2013 (note of the joint meeting of Nairn CCs linked to in this post)

Mr Macleod said they were thinking of installing traffic lights at the bridge. He added, unfortunately, in recession, funding was not available and a bypass was not in HC gift.

Prior to that the meeting note records that the Provost was still pushing for the bypass but cannot promise to deliver one.

So, we have gone back to wishing and hoping then?