On Wednesday night in the Dunbar Hall, Roger Milton, the chair of Auldearn Community Council outlined some of the effects of the Nairn Bypass preferred route that he thought were unacceptable. He said:
"I don’t think the Granny Barbour’s Road should be blocked off. It is a very important thoroughfare. There are many other thoroughfares if you look back across the maps that have been given flyovers or underpasses and are much less important thoroughfares than the Granny Barbour’s road. It is slightly awkward for the design team and I wonder if that’s why they’ve done it. [...]
I feel great sympathy for John MacKintosh in the way that the road is affecting his property. It seems very unfair that it can have quite such a colossal effect on his farm as that and I would like to certainly, in the strongest possible terms, write to ask the design team to look at ways of lessening that effect.[...]
Thirdly the road that runs along from Boath House on the back down to Auchnacloich, that again is going to be another road that is going to be blocked off. It isn’t a road that sees a lot of traffic in particular but it is, and I know many of you use that route as a cycling route and I don’t see why there is any reason why that shouldn’t, in the very least, be designated/reinstated as a thoroughfare. Realistically it is a tunnel underneath to allow access.
[...]I think the area in the way it terms of the way it affects Penick Farm and obviously the effects in the way that the road moves out past Courage. We need to find, I think, ways of getting the design team to look at that as clearly as they can in terms of reducing the effect that that is going to have. "
Gurnites can see these parts of the proposed dual carriageway that Roger referred too here on this Transport Scotland document.
In the discussion that followed Roger was not keen to allow comment from those that thought that the choice of route was not the right option but to focus on the impacts of the preferred route. The effect that the road will have on some residents lives is becoming more apparent as more attention is paid to the route. One resident said that the embankment that would be built after the road came through Penick farm would block everything he could see out of his window. This road is indeed a massive scar across the Nairnshire landscape. David Brownless estimated that the cutting before the road rejoined the old A96 would be 100m wide and 14m deep.
Roger said in relation to timescales for the road. “They are talking about then, basically in 2016 having the plan. Obviously they still consider there will be a public local inquiry because they think some of the statutory bodies will take up... however many agreements they can come to with local landowners [...] but it won’t be just for Auldearn it will be for the whole length of the planned road.”