Sunday, September 22, 2013

Liz anticipated a difficult time

We published comments Liz made earlier this week about the brevity of a forthcoming planning consultation. She made those comments at the combined CC meeting on Wednesday night - that article is here "Liz disappointed Inner Moray Firth Plan wasn't challenged". Over the weekend the Gurn had the opportunity to ask Liz what she though of the APT Sec's suggestion that the previous HwLDP (Highland wide Local Development Plan) will constrain much of what might come from the community in the next round of consultation. It can seem a bit complicated Gurnites but this previous Gurn article is an attempt to explain a bit of what's going on just now. 

Liz not only gave us her thoughts on that she went on to talk a bit more generally about her present situation in being barred from the planning meeting that discussed South Nairn and public perceptions of her own land submission under the "Call for sites" procedure:

"During the process of the HwLDP and prior to my land being put forward in the call for sites I took an active part challenging Tornagrain and Nairn South along with Roddy Balfour and I was assured these are long term proposals, but due to economic climate, developer pressure and Sandown being removed for sale Nairn South has come forward without the infrastructure in place we were assured would be necessary for the development.

The APT Sec is right that the  HwLDP enshrines future policy for the IMFLDP. In my view the  HwLDP was pushed through by an Independent led council against the wishes of many of us.

I knew it would be a difficult position to put myself in and that particularly over the year leading up to the independence referendum things may get nasty for me. A lot of folk don't like my politics, never mind me personally so I am anticipating a very difficult time.

I have to follow the Councillors Code of Conduct and withdraw from major palnning applications in Nairn. Some councillors never participate in planning applications, but the climate in Nairn presently is very focused on planning matters and I don't think I compromised myself highlighting the basic sections of the report to IMFLDP. I was very surprised that it wasn't challenged at all, I had assumed it would have been.

There is a lot more to being a councillor than sitting on planning committee, and I shall continue to work hard for and represent my area to the best of my ability and be open and transpartent in all I do.

I am very glad the vote was won for Nairn on Wednesday."


Anonymous said...

Why are Sandown Lands no longer for sale?

Just sayin' said...

Am I the only one who sees a dilemma here for both Liz and Nairn?

Here we have our Liz with her councillor hat on, stalwart and champion of Nairn. Member of the SNP and therefore answerable to the ruling party of the Highland Council. Is she ever compromised by this position/ relationship and therefore does Nairn lose out? It would seem so at times, many in Nairn are desperate to gain more independence from Inverness rule, the SNP could make this happen

And then we have Liz our councillor, supporting Nairnites, but unable to bring her voice to planning issues, leaving us light in representation.

The reason for this brings us onto Liz the landowner (which is why Liz has decided post legal advice not to attend planning meetings). A tract of her land that could gain permission for 89 houses to be built just off the Lochloy Rd. If this went ahead it would make Liz the landowner and her family a lot of money

Permission for the go ahead for the land that Liz and her family own is dependent on Highland Council to which Liz has a professional relationship through her work, nonetheless there is surely a question mark over her having these two distinct but conflicting roles?

This may sound harsh but to my mind Liz should resign as a Nairn councillor. We (Nairn) deserve councillors who can support us at all levels and this includes the often contentious issue of planning.

One last thought. Should planning be granted for the land which Liz owns, is this not likely to cause nearly as much furore as South Nairn taking into account the road junction at Lochloy Rd/ A96 which is at more than full capacity already and will be asked to cope with cars from another 89 houses

Liz is compromised, Nairn deserves better

Nairnac said...

No, you're not the only one !

Anonymous said...

No, no, no you're not alone!

Anonymous said...

I find it incredible that this issue has not been more public. I've always supported Liz but her position is now untenable and she really should resign for the sake of Nairn

Graisg said...

Thanks to the 2 anons, decided not to publish those comments.

Anonymous said...

Don't know the ins and outs but if I didnt do all of my job Id be sacked