This observer went to the Highland Council’s information event last night in the Community Centre. It had been billed as a 4-8 p.m. event, I arrived around half seven and about 30 folk were sitting in rows receiving a presentation and it was after 8.30 pm before it was all done and dusted. See picture below of all the colour coded areas that the Highland Council wish to see developed in the future.
Serious concern was expressed about the traffic impact on the town and the countryside of any and all of these developments. Particular mention was made of Lochloy Road with existing development and the proposed NA2 area* which is now a preferred Highland Council site for 90 houses; how traffic would impact with 30 houses on half of the Showfield, particularly with the existing conditions on Waverly Road; the continuing use of Auldearn as a rat run to avoid Nairn was mentioned and the general dangerous driving conditions that are now emerging in many areas locally as impatient people seek alternative routes. There were other concerns too that have often been heard at meetings in Nairn over recent years.
To their credit the planners did say that future traffic levels in Nairn would be alleviated by the construction of a bypass (a must for them just as much as it is for the townsfolk) but those assembled remained highly sceptical of these plans and unconvinced by the presentation. On Tuesday night at the Suburban CC meeting Colin told that meeting that his gut feeling was that a bypass would be completed in 5 years. A best to middle best case scenario there? Would a future government of a different complexion (perhaps in an independent Scotland) feel bound by any promises made to Nairn in 2013? In the meantime just how much development can Nairn take without a bypass?
You can see the map and the explanation of all the zones detailed here starting on page 63 of this document. If you are either for or against any of these developments you can submit your details online here.
For more details of this plan that is under consultation at the moment there is a Gurn page here with links to Highland Council information and also a Gurn reader's take on it all.
*Interestingly it was pointed out that this site could contain a through road that would connect up with the existing developments in Lochloy and provide another way in or out of the housing schemes that are at the further end of this area already.