Sunday, October 20, 2013

Time for Highland Council to allocate smaller areas for development?

As regular readers will have deduced from previous articles recently, at the Nairnshire Community Councils joint meeting last Wednesday night in the Community and Arts centre there was a lot of talk and criticism of the Highland Council planning modus operandi. Here is a little more from that meeting.

One of the delegates said: “The developments that they are going for, it doesn’t give the local small businesses a chance to compete for them. Nobody is interested in a building plot at the moment for less than 50-100 houses. It’s only great big established companies that can take it on and they are all based elsewhere.”

Dick Youngson agreed, he said: “And hence all the money is sucked out of the area by these national companies.”

Brian Stewart then added to the debate: “Briefly, just to reinforce that, I think it was at the same September the 18th Council meeting – one of the Councillors, a lady, stood up and made a very similar point. That the general approach of Highland Council to development, and it was obvious on Nairn South because they were talking about the Scotia consortia, was that they designate large chunks of land and then invite single development bids. And in the case of Nairn South three builders had to get together to form a consortium to make a bid. This lady, who is a councillor, I can’t remember her name…”

At that point Rosemary said: “Margaret Davidson.”

Brian then continued after the brief intrusion “…said: “Wouldn't it be much more sensible if the council and council planners devised and offered sub divided plots so that smaller businesses, smaller builders, smaller developers could then take on the task. This would also put an end to the kind of identikit shoe-boxes housing estates like we've seen in Inverness. If it was a diversity of builders and a variety of businesses that were engaged in the development you could actually deliver a better and more attractive result.”

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