Cllr Colin MacAulay thanked Highland Council officers for their “phenomenal job” on the local plan today in the chamber at Glenurquhart Road: “It’s impressive, we should all, kind of, praise the officers that have been involved above and beyond to do this. It’s not an easy task and I’m left with this thought and this is the general bit, there’s just something not quite right about having a Highland Wide Development Local Development Plan and an Inner Moray Firth Development Plan. The Inner Moray Firth isn’t local, it’s still the size of a small country. There’s something there that’s not quite right but that I think is a national issue. It’s a local government reorganisation issue. Given that kind of, the structures that people are working with I think they’ve done an amazing, an amazing job.”
Colin then went on to talk about the words NIMBY and NODAM, he explained that NODAM means no other development after mine. He went on to say that
these issues were very, very personal and to illustrate this he went to explain that the house that he and his wife brought 10 years ago enjoys excellent views – views that were in effect stolen from a neighbour across the road who used to enjoy them before another house was built in front of him.
He then said: “never could I believe three years ago that you go abroad and you would actually think about planning but you do.” He then compared his impressions of Béziers (bad) with Montpellier (good) for the benefit of the chamber and anyone watching the webcast.
He concluded: “The bit that follows as a development plan, I want officers to use this to challenge developers about the quality of their build. We get platitudes sometimes – Water and Sewage will say sometimes say there’s not an issue or pick that up in terms of capacity but they don’t live, you know, we have faecal fountains on Brocher’s Brae after a downpour. The people that say there’s not an issue there don’t live beside these faecal fountains because the population see them. Sorry you want an explanation? As the water surges up through...you can google them on youtube. I think we want officers to really scrutinise and challenge on the behalf of the people. It’s the same when it comes down to the roads, it’s common sense, and the community can sense there’s an issue over traffic and you really do need to challenge a transport assessment that says no problem.”