Monday, October 21, 2013

"We can’t just have a vision that says we will double the number of people in Nairn if there’s no jobs and there’s no work."

More from last week’s joint meeting of Nairnshire Community Councils. Previous articles on the meeting also available not too far down the page from this post.

Alistair Noble spoke about the forthcoming Inner Moray Firth plan consultation and the bigger aspects of how Highland Council planning has an impact on Nairn, he said:

“We are fundamentally questioning what we perceive as Highland Council, Highland Councllors lack of control over their planning department. It has been argued for a long while that we should split planning and development. We should have people who are developers and legitimately they can talk to anybody about anything but when it comes to planning there has to be infrastructure, costs and a realistic pragmatic basis to what’s going on. We can’t just have a vision that says we will double the number of people in Nairn if there’s no jobs and there’s no work. I just find it ironic, to echo Rosemary, the centre of Inverness is dying and dead and they’re going to throw more money at it, but it is dying and dead because of planning decisions to move it out to the periphery. So it is no coincidence that it’s dying and dead. The thought of urban development all the way from Nairn to Inverness with roundabouts every…à la Milton Keynes or something like that just kills our tourist industry and everything we really want to have in Nairn stone dead. So we have to come up with some alternatives.”

Rosemary then said: “I think that’s a very good sentence that you just ended with because that is exactly the thrust of what Nairn is about and how we need to get over to the Highland Council, which is very difficult, that this really is a town that needs to be kept looking as beautiful as it possibly can. […] We really must dwell on the fact that this is a tourism town and somebody said last night that it is the County town of Nairnshire and I thought that is a really good tag line as well, it is the County town of Nairnshire! And it does not want to be a satellite of Inverness, which looks horrendous – it really does, so we must start work and we must start work immediately.”

A little later Michael Green made a contribution and with reference to a forthcoming meeting between the principals of the local Community Councils and Glenurquhart Road high heid yins, he said:

“Yes we have to engage with the  Inner Moray Firth Plan as rapidly as possible and the process as it currently exists but the bigger challenge, I think, is the one that really wants to be addressed is that the planning in its wider sense is flawed. It’s totally flawed and this is where the meeting with the Highland Council is so important because we, you, have to come away from that meeting with some form of framework to go ahead so that we can actually have a framework that we’ve confidence in. A framework that’s got a timetable that we can work to, has got a longer term vision. Unless we come away with that we’ll have years of these Nairn South type incidents and we’re not going to win them all and it’s just going to be a hotchpotch.”

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