In this earlier article here we mentioned how the planners responses to submissions to the local plan will be going forward for approval by councillors on Wednesday (14th May). After approval by the Council the local plan (IMFLDP – Inner Moray Firth Local Plan), the blueprint for the next 20 years of development locally, will go to the Scottish Government’s Reporters for consideration. You can see the full range of responses to concerns expressed about proposals for many areas of Nairn here in this document starting on page 360. In this article we examine the response to concerns over the Showfield.
On the issues raised by residents the planners state: “The site includes land currently allocated for housing development within the current Nairnshire Local Plan, although the extent of the site has been expanded in the Inner Moray Firth Proposed Local Development Plan. Comments received have largely been against the potential for developing the site. Further comments have been received supporting the potential of an excambion with some of the Sandown land for development of a new showfield and retention of NA1 as open space.”
Gurnites can see what exactly the area “NA1” of the Showfield is on page 65 of the original plan document here.
It looks like the idea of swapping a bit of Sandown for the Showfield might not work however under the auspices of the current Sandown Development Brief. The planners go on to say:
“The option to deliver a new showfield at Sandown has been investigated during the preparation of the Sandown Development Brief but the adequacy of land available for this purpose was not clearly identified as being adequate for the Nairnshire Farmers Society’s requirements for a new larger showfield. There is merit in continuing to investigate the potential for an arrangement of this nature between the common good fund and the farmers society. In regard to the issue raised on a restriction to title to prevent development on the site, the Council have contacted the Nairn Farmers Society and they indicated that they are not aware of any such restriction.”
It looks like partial development of the Showfield is still very much a consideration for the Council:
“Some comments received to the proposal had generally agreed that a lesser proportion of development would be acceptable subject to a purposeful area of land being retained as open space. This area would have to host a new football pitch and general open space, the provision of which would be a requirement for the developer of the rest of the site. The Council considers that the remainder of the showfield site can still adequately serve both formal and informal recreation needs. The introduction of a requirement for a formal Section 75 agreement for a developer to provide enhancement to the remainder of the showfield may be appropriate.”
Traffic concerns get a small mention: “Traffic issues have also been raised as a concern regarding the development of the land with limited capacity to improve the junction of Lodgehill and Waverley Roads, more broadly there is capacity within the boundary of the site and the wider showfield to make improvements to pedestrian and cycle access.”
And again the council leaning towards development on the Showfield site: “As the potential for a successful excambion of land is not known at this point and that the Farmers Society are seeking development value to facilitate the delivery of a new showfield. It is considered therefore the allocation is retained in the Plan as having development potential for housing subject to the provision of a relocated playing field and landscaping of the remainder of the showfield. The potential for an excambion with land at Sandown should also continue to be investigated.”