Thursday, June 25, 2015

Kingsteps gate access case legal costs to date £23,297.77

Back in January the Highland Council abandoned their case against Alexander Brodie in the Court of Session over the Kingsteps gate access row. The council stated that there were more cost effective options open to them - more details here. 

Highland Council did indeed opt for another route and achieved success recently in the Sheriff Court. 

Murd Dunbar has been following the case(s) with interest as he was of the opinion that there was a moral connection here with the access issue he has been campaigning for some years on at the Firhall Bridge. Murd believes that if the Council were prepared to go to court to obtain access for cars to the Kingsteps car park then they should have been equally proactive in securing imporved access to the Firhall Bridge by providing a ramp to the bridge. With that in mind he has been trying to find out for some time the cost to the public purse of the Kingsteps Court action. Today he received a reply from Highland Council which stated:

"The total cost of the legal expenses incurred for the Kingsteps, Nairn to date is £23,297.77."

Murd told us: "It is a pity that a compromise couldn't have been reached that might have saved a lot of money. Then they would have had a spare £8,000 for the survey on the Firhall Bridge to go ahead which would have enabled the army to install the ramp."

Flashback to December 2012 and Alexander Brodie installs the gate at Kingsteps


Anonymous said...

Cavalier action by an aristocratic landowner costs us all £24K.
However, I'm sure that Mr Brodie will do the decent and honourable thing and recompense us handsomely for all the hassle his gate has caused.

Graisg said...

Actually the Court of session awarded expenses to Alexander Brodie anon as this BBC article from January this year shows.

Johnnie the Walker said...

Full credit to Murd for pursuing this. He is right to expect the Council to have a consistent policy, and to be prepared to take action to protect and improve access by all members of the public to local amenities.

But the Council seems to have a skewed sense of priorities, and a peculiar idea of value for money, if they regard it as appropriate to spend £23k on legal fees and court proceedings to pursue an argument with Brodie, but are reluctant to spend a fraction of that amount on action to improve the Firhall bridge (and/or the Riverside path).

Which is better for Nairn? To put our money into the pockets of expensive lawyers in Inverness and Edinburgh, or to deliver practical improvements to existing local amenities?

The sooner Murd gets elected to Highland Council, the greater the chance of some sensible decisions...!

Anonymous said...

£23,297.77 is the cost of stopping a land owner trying to halt full public access to his land. I look forward to the land reforms in Scotland

Graisg said...

@anon 9.18 Recalling Community Council meetings that Alexander Brodie attended, this observer recalls him detailing that he only wanted to restrict the hours that the car park was open and this was a result of residents in that area approaching him. Obviously a lot of other stuff went on between him and Highland Council and the Council headed down the legal route which they were perfectly entitled to do so.

Member of the public said...

Well anonymous
£8.000 not being spent by the Highland Council is at the moment not allowing full public access to advertised circular walk. I would suggest they install a parking meter to recover some of the cost if it that important for cars to get park.

Anonymous said...

@ Member of the public

I know the council is short of money but hopefully it can afford the £8.00 you've quoted?

Anonymous said...

I have to be honest and say I've never supported Murd's ideas about the bridge as to me its not really practical in these financial hard-times. But at least his proposals are honest and have integrity and in those terms I do support his idea. It is disgusting to see this utter waste of money and I contend this was politicking from the local Cllr, all Brodie wanted was a restriction of cars not public access. I do have to wonder, what kind of bridge would we have for 23k? I sympathise with Murd, this must be a difficult pill to swallow. Someone in public office should be thoroughly embarrassed by this carry-on.

Anonymous said...

Why on earth would a Council develop and maintain a carpark at huge public cost - that hundreds of Nairnites used day in and day out over decades - and then allow it to be closed off by a Brodie of Brodie of that Ilk?
Good on Liz.
Someone has to stand up for us peasants!


Well Nameless
Every one to there own thoughts! I have do some consideration for those less fortunate than me.

Let me make it quite clear I HAVE NEVER REQUESTED A new bridge the one that is there is quite capable of allowing access across for all apart from anyone who can't get up the steps. All that is required is A RAMP installed to allow this and could of been installed if the Highland Council provided the survey requested by the army who were prepared to do that as a training exercise for the community. Gordon Timber offered to help with the Timber.
The cost of the survey was rejected by the H.C. As too costly £8.000 which would of proved the bridge is safe that in it's self would not have been a bad thing.
As readers will well know I have asked for the ramp long before cars and only cars were denied access to a car park!
The H.C maintain they have a duty to assure right of access A Sheriff has also upheld that statement. The H.C them selves have got a obstruction at the bridge that denies the right of way!. A simple ramp over the steps I have supplied drawings and was told by there own engineer with a few small alterations cold resolve the problem. By the way the steps are in need of a costly repair So why not kill two birds with one stone Or is that being too sensible??
My concern is for equal rights for all and stop discrimination at the bridge. That's my side of the story NEVER have I asked OR WOULD EXPECT a new bridge.
Only those who ether don't know any better or against A ramp would make such a statement.

Anonymous said...

I whole heartedly agree with murd,,,a ramp is definitely required,maybe all disabled people that want to use bridge,but cant,should take H.R.C. to court for failing to provide disabled access to the bridge,lets see how much that would cost in legal fees and expenses for councillers.ohh they would,once again be delighted to have a meeting and claim more expenses.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 9.24.

Why on earth would a Council develop and maintain a car park at huge public cost without first ensuring that use of the car park would not cause a nuisance to nearby residents, and secondly determining whether vehicles had right of access to the car park over land owned by a third party?

Alexander never intended to deprive the public of access, just to restrict access to certain means. This has been an example of certain councillors wishing to prove that they are more powerful than the rightful landowner. Wait until the full effects of the Land Reform Act come into play and then see how much individual rights are subjugated to the state.

Graisg said...

@ anon 12.03 re bad behaviour and records. Can you come up with source(s) for that police.

Graisg said...

Please chill a little folks if this thread is to remain open


The following are two quotes from press releases.

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

When asked for a reaction a spokesperson for:the Highland Council said
"The Council is under a duty to uphold access rights.
Both the statements are welcomed by me.
What puzzles me why this does this NOT apply to the Firhall Bridge where access is denied to all who cannot access the bridge?
Owing to the fact I can access the bridge. It has been said I have no reason to complain.
Repeating what I have said before I do have concern for others less fortunate than myself and will continue to campaign for a ramp at the bridge!!
That being said it would appear members of the public who's rights are being denied in my opinion . Will have to raise the matter with the Council as to why they are being denied access.
There is A saying the lord helps them who help themselves { and some help won't go wrong}


Anonymous said...

To save on a long trip when in a chair, could you try for a ramp up the stairs to Bothpark nearest PJ Grants, I would also like to get to the top of the viewing point in the woods at Culbin. Its not going to happen, Change the Record.


TO THE Brahan Seer