Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Planning issues dominate meeting of Nairnshire Community Councils

Dick Youngson chaired a meeting of all the Nairnshire CCs plus Croy in the Community and Arts Centre tonight (Weds 16th Oct). Planning issues and how the Nairnshire Community responds to them again dominated the proceedings. Here at the Gurn we hope to give you a flavour of what was said in articles that will be published over the next few days.

After a preamble outlining what was planned for the meeting Dick began with the first item on the agenda, the IMFLDP:
“I hand over the Inner Moray Firth Local Development to the floor because it’s not exactly what we want on this area. It is something which is unnecessary, over the top perhaps and we haven’t had a debate about it yet at our community council. Has anybody got any strong criticisms of it or what direction should we go?

Graham Kerr of the Westies was the first to respond: “Yes there’s several patches that affect Nairn. Lochloy, the final stage of Lochloy with 200 houses. Now that development has not taken along with it the infrastructure and the improvements that are supposed to be happening whilst the other areas were being developed. Before they can say, right we are going to go ahead with these other 200 houses, the Council needs to tell us how they propose to catch up with these infrastructure elements that should have been delivered by the previous 400 houses. That one is ongoing, that one will continue to be ongoing and we want to get our voice in there and say what’s happening, you’ve lost control of it. how are you going to get control back of it?

The next one is beyond Lochloy, another 90 houses have appeared on the list there. Now this is something that came out of the blue, there was always word of some small development there but 90 houses have now appeared. There’s been no mention of any infrastructural improvements. Lochloy Road really needs something done to it but as I see it the plan there is to take the Lochloy developments right to the boundary of that plot and connect it there. So there will be no improvement for Lochloy Road.

“No word of a link over the railway or under the railway to the A96?” asked Dick Youngson.

“No word of that,” continued Graham Kerr. “We should be asking the planners to come and speak to us and say they how they are going to address this before they even consider giving these things approval.”

Graham then moved onto the subject of Nairn South: “My feeling is we should be asking the Highland Council to show us the two reports that said the road could cope,” he said.

More from the joint meeting of the Nairnshire Community Councils as soon as time permits. 


Anonymous said...

So lets add a developer contribution and planning condition for a road/rail bridge to the proposed 90 house development and hold Councillors accountable for implementation.

Graisg said...

There is no proposed development yet anon. The Kingsteps land in question is a preferred site of the Highland Council in its current Inner Moray Firth Local Development plan consultation. That means that there could be development there some time in the future if that land comes out zoned after the consultation is finished - a process that might involve a public local inquiry.

Anonymous said...

It seems incredibly ironic that we could see Cllr Liz MacDonald and her husband Derek being prepared to have 90 houses built on their land at Lochloy Road

Here we have a serving Nairn councillor, chair of the area committee, and ex Provost who in the past has fully backed locals in their planning concerns (including South Nairn) potentially creating her very own local nightmare if consent is granted post the consultation.

Due to the conflict that Liz's planning issue causes against her councillor role we've already seen her step down from some planning matters on legal advise

Through this the people of Nairn are left without the voice of one of their councillors which is far from satisfactory especially as planning features so highly on public agendas

To my mind hers is not a tenable situation, it should be either or with regard her public position. In simple terms she should withdraw plans to build 90 houses and remain a councillor or resign, there is no middle ground

Graisg said...

@ the one that got away - a very interesting analogy, thanks for that.

Anonymous said...

The Owner of the land and rights to build have changed at lochloy no?? Have they signed up to the same plans as the previous developer?

Graisg said...

You must be thinking of the revision of masterplan application from Springfield Properties PLC anon. You can browse that application here.

Anonymous said...

Is Cllr MacDonald the same one who didn't attend the planning meeting regarding the Nairn South development? Who didn't regard it as her duty to attend and voice the concerns of her constituents. Who gave her reason for not attending as; 'It is a 'fait accompli' it is going to pass or will pass on appeal'. We all know how that turned out. Are the people of Nairn getting value for money with this councillor?

Graisg said...

You are obviously talking about the initial meeting when the South Nairn plan went through Anon. Because of a mistake by the planners the decision was eventually reversed in September.

Liz did say it was a "fait accompli" yes but she had other reasons for not being there. This is what she told the Gurn:
"I had a Nairn Community Transport meeting and a funeral so couldn't attend the planning committee." She continued: " In my view the outcome was a fait accompli. There was no way the application could be refused or the applicant would have got it passed on appeal. This site visit was just playing to the galleries. There have been several site visits recently about applications that were impossible to refuse under planning regulations including Tornagrain and a wind farm. These in my opinion are a waste of time and money, unless a recomendation can be overturned what is the point of hiring buses, taking councillors and officers around the countryside to no avail.
If I had thought for one moment that there could have been a vote and the application would have been significantly altered then I would have made a point of being present.
Applications coming forward that are in the Highland Wide development plan and the Inner Moray Firth plan will be difficult to overturn as there already is an acceptance of them."

That was part of an article that was published on the 22nd August, two days after the decision on the 20th. You can also see what Colin had to say after that initial decision which passed South Nairn on this Gurn page here.

Anonymous said...

So Liz thinks that anything in the Inner Moray plan will be difficult to overturn as there is already acceptance of them. How convenient that the site at Kingsteps was one of those adopted.

Graisg said...

But the Kingsteps site has not been adopted yet though Anon - it has to go through the consultation and then perhaps a public local inquiry.
It is quite complicated all this: Kinsteps was not in the HWLDP as far as this observer can remember.
And being in the Highland wide plan already does help a site's chances (as was South Nairn) though when it comes to the Inner Moray Firth local plan according to one regular reader of ours who is drafting a document for Gurnshire to browse.