Tuesday, September 22, 2015

"Eyes down!" It's South Nairn masterplan consultation time again

Tomorrow another document going to Councillors who make up the Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey Committee concerns the South Nairn area and its future development. 

Gurnites will remember that an appeal by the developer over refusal of planning permission was refused and central to that refusal was the transport infrastructure, most notably the dangerous area around the Cawdor Road railway bridge. A revised masterplan would be needed. Well it's all coming round again.

The document authored by the Director of Development and Infrastructure, Malcolm MacLeod states:

"The Plan makes it clear that no planning application can be considered for the site until a revised masterplan is adopted. Discussions have taken place with local members and Community Council representatives and it has been proposed that a plan of action be but together which must be:

 • set within the context of all housing development sites in Nairn;

• fully transparent, with Community Council involvement from the start; and

• infrastructure led, with a robust and credible assessment of transport and housing need and demand requirements”

And central to all this will be a transport assessment that the Highland Council will undertake:

"2.1 In order to progress the masterplan, the Council will undertake a Transport Appraisal (TA) to inform the necessary transport requirements to be contained within the Nairn South Masterplan. The scope of the TA will be to undertake an assessment of the current performance of the road network in relation to pedestrian, cyclist and vehicular traffic. The assessment will further identify constraints to the future improvement and need for upgrade of the transport infrastructure. 

2.2 The TA will make an assessment of the impact of various phases/scales of development, and also make an appraisal of cumulative transport impacts of development of this site alongside the other development sites in Nairn as identified in the IMFLDP. The TA will consider the opportunities that exist to overcome identified constraints that would support the phased delivery of development with these being identified through a defined list of transport mitigation measures. This will provide clear guidance on the potential development levels achievable on site allied to the measures required to support that level of development. A Project Brief has been prepared to set the scope and expected outputs of the Transport Appraisal are attached in Appendix 2 to this report. Member’s views are sought on the scope of the works.

 2.3 Beyond the preparation of the transport appraisal, the Council will move forward with a new draft masterplan which will be the subject of further consultation with the wider community, landowner and developer interests. This additional work will include an assessment of the housing need in Nairn, amongst many other factors.”

And it's coming up very soon:

"3.1 Between September and the end of the year, officers will continue to liaise with local members, community councils, landowners and development interests in order to work together on a consensual basis on a draft masterplan document. Specifically"

Read the report that our councillors will have to consider tomorrow by going to this Highland Council meeting agenda page and downloading a copy by clicking on item 7 of the agenda.  

If serious students of these matters find anything in the documents that they feel fellow Gurnites might like to be aware of please feel free to share.


Anonymous said...

i god a bad feeling about this....i can foresee the new TA allowing through the development plans without the need for any major changes, why? because the upcoming bypass will solve all of Nairns traffic issues, and will allow them a perfect excuse...

Brian Turner said...

As the Scottish Government are currently pushing through with a big upgrade of the Inverness-Aberdeen rail line, have any of our local representatives sought to ask for funds from that to widen the bridge crossing? South Nairn planning aside, it makes no sense to have the approach to the Nairn hospital constrained by such a dangerous bottleneck.

Anonymous said...

@Brian Turner

A new bridge would cost several millions of pounds and would bring huge disruption. There would be no access to the hospital via Cawdor Rd whilst a new bridge was being built so would put lives in danger for anyone trying to get to A&E and would be a huge inconvenience for other patients. There would also have to be a rail bus service from Nairn to Forres over the same period. As long as all users of Cawdor Rd continue to be careful as they pass under the bridge I cannot see the need for a hugely disruptive and costly upgrade. Is it too much to ask that folk just slow down as they approach this area?


The bottle neck on the station brae is self imposed with the chicane's put in place.
There have been more near misses and accidents on the brae than ever before this danger was installed.
The excuse for this to be installed was for quicker access for ambulances to get to the Hospital. No thought for getting anyone to Inverness in an emergency as was the case when I had to be rushed there for immediate surgery.
Anyone who drives into the longman Inverness and they will verify the bridge there has more traffic going through in one hour than the brae has in one day.
It has no visibility for on coming traffic,owing to being on a bend no pavement.
A level crossing leading on to A roundabout and the traffic flows with out any problems.
You can't blame Inverness for the chaos in Nairn with the traffic it was our own councilors who were in favour and don't want to do the sensible thing and have it reverted back to what it was and let drivers use there own discretion when going under the bridge. Ask anyone who walks down the the brae how safe the present set up is?.

Anonymous said...

No matter how we look at it the road plus pavement under the railway bridge is too narrow so a compromise is the best that we can expect. The main issue is getting drivers to slow down. I doubt everyone would agree on any traffic calming put in place. The current layout means some drivers (especially those heading into Nairn) speed up to try and get through it

The railway bridge on the Longman that Murd mentions is probably of a similar width but it lacks any pavement. True two cars can happily pass but the only time I saw a pedestrian use this route traffic had to stop to allow him through, hardly a solution for our bridge in Nairn