Back in July we published details of Ziran’s latest proposals for Balmakeith, they said they will bring national retail names to Nairn - details in this previous Gurn article here. The full plans are not before Highland Council for discussion yet but on Tuesday last week the South Planning Committee met at Glenurquhart Road to discuss the “Proposal of Application Notice”.
Michael Green told his colleagues: “Just a couple of points and it’s when the application comes forward I would like to see robust evidence on the sustainability of this development. That comes from two sort of fears that I have. One: as is well known there is an excess of somewhere between 20 and 25% capacity of out of town shopping which has been declared redundant. And secondly: on the week that Amazon Fresh announced that they are going to be launching into the grocery market which will change the landscape for all players, I’d like to see these factors taken into account and to prove the sustainability of their proposal. "
Provost Laurie Fraser said: “I’d just want to cover the point of over-provision, I know in retail it is not allowed to be considered but the plan is outwith the [...] it’s outside the town centre first principle and outside an area of development, recognised development so therefore I would ask if the question of overprovision should be looked at as well because if you over provide for something you just cause more and more empty premises and there is a point at which these stores cannot trade."