Monday, June 15, 2015

Highland Council secures access to Nairn public right of way

Highland Council Press Release:

"The Highland Council has welcomed the recent decision at Inverness Sheriff Court securing access rights for all who enjoy the countryside.

The decision has resulted in the declaration of a public right of way for walkers, cyclists, horse riders and motor vehicles on the private road to the council-owned car park at Nairn’s Kingsteps where people park to visit the beach and the RSPB’s Culbin Sands reserve.

When access to the car park was obstructed by the installation of a gate over 2 years ago, the Council took appropriate steps, in the public interest, to uphold access rights and raised court action against Mr Brodie who had put himself forward as owner of the access track and installer of the gate.

Members of The Highland Council’s Nairn Ward are very pleased with this positive outcome to secure a public right of way and access to a local beauty spot. Members wish to thank all those who supported the Council’s case and provided evidence to assist the Sheriff Court proceedings."


I'm not a robot said...

That was kept quiet. When was the court hearing?

Anonymous said...

Many thanks to Councillor Liz MacDonald and Council legal staff for taking this fight on and winning for all of us at the end of the day.

Johnnie the Walker said...

We need to know exactly how much this lengthy and high-level legal campaign has cost local taxpayers.

If the Highland Council had spent as much time, effort and money on developing the Nairn to Inverness Coastal Path as they have wasted on pursuing a legal fight with Brodie over access to a car park, the interests of the whole of Nairn would have been better served.

Anonymous said...

a "step" in the right direction

i'll get my coat.

Anonymous said...

The Coastal Path is a several hundreds of thousands of pounds - perhaps a few millions - project I would think.

Johnnie the Walker said...

@Anon 12:43pm

Nah, Anon, I think you exaggerate. First step is dialogue with landowners about route and public right of way: minimal cost. Technical planning already done. Signposts and markers cost maybe a few thousand at most. And once project framework is in place, there are plenty of sources of funds - HIE, SNH, central government, EU Leader grants, etc - to progressively improve and enhance the path over time.

What it needs is sensible priorities and the political will in Highland Council to do something constructive - rather than paying for a local Councillor to pursue a self-promoting campaign of legal action over a car park.

Anonymous said...


Liz was right to champion this. Why on earth should a private landowner be allowed to stick a gate across a vehicular right of way.
I based by "guesstimate" on the real world btw - August 2014
"One of Scotland’s Great Trails, The Great Glen Way, which has been upgraded with a 17km section of newly completed high level alternative, has had the new section officially opened today (Tuesday 5 August) by author and broadcaster Cameron McNeish. The £1m project, managed by Forestry Commission Scotland, moved the path higher up the hill above the tree line, taking walkers away from tree felling areas and opening up spectacular views to the north and south of Loch Ness as far as the north face of Ben Nevis on a clear day."

Johnnie the Walker said...

@Anon of 5:41pm

We could debate cost-figures indefinitely. But there is a huge difference between carving 17km of brand new trail across a steep and forested mountainside in the Great Glen, and marking a path (much of which already exists) along the flat, open and largely level coast and beach-edge of the Moray Firth.

As for the argument with the landowner Brodie, by turning it into a political campaign and a legal fight, Liz MacDonald and the Highland Council failed to address the original cause of the problem at that particular site, and destroyed any prospect of a sensible dialogue and a negotiated outcome (which would have cost far less). That was a pity. It was also poor judgment and bad tactics.

Anonymous said...

The only "politics" was whether "landowners" can do whatever they like in the 21st Century. Liz was 100% backed by the other Councillors - even the Tories.
There was no opportunity for rational "dialogue".