More from the Joint Nairnshire Community Council meeting last night (Weds 16th). All the Nairnshire Councils were represented plus Croy. The only local Highland Councillor present was Michael Green although Roddy Balfour from the neighbouring Cawdor, Croy and Ardersier ward was also at the meeting.
See previous Gurn article here for an outline of the first part of the meeting. From that point debate continued about land being favoured by the Council in the
wide and Inner Moray Firth plan and how this mechanism worked and
how the Community Councils could have some input. Highland
A comment was made about people not getting annoyed about the Moray Firth Plan and the
Highland wide plan until it comes to a very specific application that
affects their road, their house or their street.
Alastair Noble responded to that point: “For me it goes back to the fundamental problem – what is planning and why are we planning and what are we planning for? If we can’t answer these questions then just fill fields full of houses. It ends up à la
or Spain with
hundreds of thousands of houses with no jobs and no work and no infrastructure.
So I think what we are keen to discuss tonight is how we could use this
Nairnshire model to look at housing and prioritise what we want to do where we
think the priority lies in Nairn rather than the landowners and the developers
prioritising it.” Ireland
A little later Alistair added to his these: “One of the things that Dick has been emphasising all night is that the COSLA report, the Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill, all the stuff about health and social integration; every thing that is going on, is about the locality taking responsibility and accountability for decisions that are going to affect it. And one of the fundamentals is about getting the questions about what Nairnshire wants to be, how big it wants to be, what it wants to do in the future and we have obviously an alternative list of priorities that Nairn, that Nairnshire would like to address and way down our list is potential… 90 houses out at Lochloy 30 years from now or 50 years from now. It just doesn't seem to be that relevant to the problems that what we’ve got. […]
Highland wide Development Plan is such a misnomer. You can’t have a Highland
Wide “Local” Devlopment Plan. You can either have a highland wide strategy plan
or a local development plan but you can’t have Highland wide Local Development
Plan. We’re in absolute gibberish from the planners but if you allow the
planners to dictate and say just what […] there’s this zone you can build what
you like in it then there’s just going to be continuing resentment and
ill-feeling and anger. So we need to find a way of working in partnership with
Highland Council and we need to find a way of prioritising what we want as our
priorities for Nairn and for Nairnshire rather than what they’re saying."