Friday, October 18, 2013

Scottish Government inconsistency on Nairn Bypass?

John Hart has written to MSPs Fergus Ewing, Derek MacKay and Keith Brown on the behalf of the town's three Community Councils outlining an apparent inconsistency in Scottish Government documents concerning the proposed Nairn Bypass. His opening paragraph begins:

"I should like to point out what is believed to be an important inconsistency and at worst a planning omission, between Scottish Government documents issued by the Department for Local Government and Planning, PR statements made by the Transport Minister and the aspirations of our local MSP, as regards A96 dualling and the Nairn Bypass."  

See a copy of the entire letter here. 


Anonymous said...

Right and left hand come to mind. At least it can't be dubbed a fait accompli, or can it!

Donald Wilson said...

This is further evidence that the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. I recall a very straightforward application by the Nairn Congregational Church in the early 1990’s to extend and modernise out church in line with Government policy to make buildings sustainable. Our project inspired by the then Minister Rev Tom Heggie ticked all the boxes and involved an investment of £400k.

As soon as our planning application was lodged the Trunk Roads Authority automatically slammed in an objection claiming it would have an adverse impact on road safety.
This meant that the application was ‘called in’ by the Scottish Government and we would have been faced with a potential two year wait for a resolution thus stymying the momentum among the church members to raise funds for the project.

I would add that the TRA never at any time had even the courtesy to come and view the plans or the site or discuss the issue with our church.

To say the development was catastrophic was an understatement. If we had taken it lying down we would not have been able to proceed with the scheme which has served this community, not only the church, for over a decade.

Using my contacts in the media I immediately launched a press campaign to have this decision overturned. I contacted all local MSPs Rhoda Grant, Peter Peacock, Fergus Ewing. I would add Labour were in power at the time but all these MSPs supported our case and moved heaven and earth and we were grateful to them all for their work on our behalf.

Pressure clearly was put on the TRA and they withdrew their objection within a couple of months and the matter went back to LOCAL planners who approved the scheme.
I know the bypass is a different ball game entirely. But I cite our experience just as an example of government incompetency which can impact on people’s lives.

Look east along the A96 at the bypass which was constructed for Fochabers. While I am happy for these Moray residents that they now have their long awaited dream fulfilled – you have to ask the question why such a big scheme for such a small community took precedence over a town of Nairn’s size which has now become notorious in the Scottish road network as the biggest bottleneck on the A96.

I wish Mr Hart and the community councillors well in their endeavours.

Anonymous said...

The Bypass is never going to happen especially if the SNP get their way on the independence vote next year the country will be broke get ready for a 3rd world Scotland

Anonymous said...

Anon@9.21 I don't think you can just blame the SNP if a bypass for Nairn doesn't happen. It's been fairly obvious for a long time that this has been well down anyone's to do list. Should I be so lucky to reach at least my three score and ten (in the next 15 years or so) I reckon that I will never see a bypass built in my lifetime.