At the combined community council meeting in Nairn Academy on Tuesday night Dick Youngson detailed a meeting recently held between Community Council reps and the Highland Council official (and architect) concerning the Rosebank Church. The appalling state of the building became apparent as Dick spoke. He said:
“She’s making the best of a bad job because nothing has happened with Rosebank Church for the last 20 years. She is now three years in the job, she’s trying to get some resolution which will decide. She was going to call in, at the beginning of last week, actually, a surveyor and the surveyor was going to act for the owner and if he failed to turn up Highland Council were going to actually engage a surveyor to come in and do the same thing – to look at the structure and to look at the potential for doing something with what is left of that building because there is so much rot in the roof – the whole roof is done. There are no slates left, they were taken away and sold [...] The scaffolding inside which is unsafe and the Health and Safety people have banned anybody else from using it and going in and even looking at the building. So it is a real old botch-up. There’s water getting into the wall heads. How safe the whole wall structure is is anyone’s guess. Yet it’s still a listed B building[...]
So we are still waiting, as soon as the surveyor’s report is available and Highland Council have got it then we’ll know and we’ll then discuss what we can do with that site because taking it down, demolition is a possibility. Historic Scotland actually feel it is a possibility. It might come to that.”
Rosemary Young wished to see at least the stained glass window in the back gable saved. She told the meeting: “Some of us, but actually not me, but some of us would like to see it preserved. Others would like to see it pulled down. It is definitely a case, I’m sorry, it’s the Highland Council again not followed up where they should have done.”
Colin MacAulay then added: “Every scenario has huge cost.”
Brian Stewart argued that demolition should be a last resort and the focus should be on action to remedy the defects and preserving and protecting what was an historic building.