Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A few snippets from the Nairn South debate in the Courthouse today – 1) Michael Green – housing

At the Nairnshire Committee meeting this morning the Highland Council planners latest paper on Nairn South was considered. Michael Green, in the chair, analysed the document section by section and then asked his colleagues to comment and the officials gave further responses too. The first item he raised was the 20 year housing requirement figures for Nairn as outlined by the planners those figures were contained in a table entitled “Nairn Housing Market Area Housing Land Requirement”.

He said: “I really welcome this because this is a chance to put on record exactly our opinions which I think are representative of the views of local people as regards this master plan’s proposals. Now in 2010 there was a requirement was for 2,500 houses. We all thought that was incredibly high. In 2015 it’s now come down to the low estimate which is 1,097, the high is 1,514. There are factors put in there to explain why that figure has come down. There are also additional current figures, there are tens of thousands of job losses in oil and gas. There is the failure of Whiteness, that was going to provide several thousand jobs. Highland Council are cutting hundreds of jobs and that’s a process that looks likely to continue for many years

I would suggest the real scenario, the requirement for houses is probably about a thousand. Let’s not forget that we actually do want development in Nairn. This is the important thing to remember here we do want development. The perception that is out there is that we are anti-development. We are not anti-development, we just want development at places we wish to see it occur. There must be priorities. So I would look and say if you include Sandown, if you include Delnies, Lochloy existing permissions and factor in which your refer to as the windfall factor in Auldearn and Cawdor. It’s round about a thousand. The point I really want to make is I don’t think there’s any real requirement for development at Nairn South. So we have got I think we have got on the books enough capacity to cater for the next 10 years for Nairn. Again I’ll say we want development and we want to be able to prioritise where it occurs.”

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