The Nairnshire CCs meeting in the Community and Arts Centre on Wednesday night heard how a lot of work had recently gone into submissions to the Nairn South planning appeal hearing. Michael Green told the meeting that Kevin Martin, the consultant putting forward the Highland Council side of the case seemed “pretty upbeat”.
Kevin Martin will indeed be giving evidence on the behalf of Highland Council, gurnites will remember that the Council’s own traffic expert report supported the development. It might seem bizarre that an organisation has to hire an expert to contradict information that one of its employees have provided but that is how it can be in the planning world. Numerous documents have appeared on the Scottish Government’s DPEA site now from the appellant, the Council and other objectors and interested parties. To read them, you have to do a wee search on this page here, the quickest way to get to the Nairn South file is to search by “authority”, click “Highland” and the link will appear on the first page.
Serious students of these matters will find Kevin Martin's submission a good read. Before the DPEA site was revamped it used to be possible to provide a link to each document, annoyingly this is no longer possible so thus it is necessary for the search even to get to the file. Anyway here are the conclusions from the Council’s traffic expert’s submission - "TA" means Transport Assessment and, obviously, there is a lot riding on the one for Nairn South (note the full document also contains submissions from Michael Green and Laurie Fraser):
"6.1 THC refused the application contrary to the recommendation of officers.
6.2 Members expressed serious concerns about local roads infrastructure and estimated traffic flows.
6.3 I consider that THC’s decision to refuse planning consent can be seen to be reasonable and
based upon reasons that have subsequently been validated.
6.4 I consider the review of the TA was not robust enough.
6.5 Identified deficiencies in the pedestrian/cycle proposals were not reported to Committee.
6.6 Policy 18 transport compliance requirements were not fully reported to Committee, i.e. the requirement to consider in detail the impact on existing residential areas.
6.7 The impact on existing residential areas of “through traffic” has not been considered by the appellant, or reported to Committee as an omission in the proposals.
6.8 An appropriate compliance test of transport infrastructure proposals associated with Policy 18 appears not to be have undertaken or reported to Committee.
6.9 The Cawdor Road/Balblair Road junction proposal has been demonstrated to reduce the standard of existing turning facilities at the junction.
6.10 The TA fails to deliver on its statements of intent regarding pedestrian and cyclist improvements.
6.11 Pedestrian access to the town centre will still be a single footway less than 2 metres in width.
These are the words used by THC transport officers in their consultation responses.
6.12 A sub-standard carriageway next to a sub-standard footway is an unsatisfactory combination for further development to occur without enhanced pedestrian facilities.
6.13 Key transport elements of Policy 18 of the HwLDP are not complied with.
6.14 For the foregoing reasons, the Council requests that the appeal be dismissed and planning consent refused. "