Monday, April 11, 2016

Paddling pool to be repaired for this season - significant turnaround in iconic Nairn facility's prospects

This observer bumped into Provost Laurie Fraser tonight  and he told the Gurn that the paddling pool would be repaired for this season.

Now a little reminder of the historical situation. Readers will remember that the paddling pool opened late last season because of a need for significant repairs. A Highland Council press release from July last year said:

"Significant repairs are required for the Paddling Pool at Nairn Links and an assessment of the facility has delayed its opening this season. 

Given the extent of the repairs required, Highland Council’s Nairn Ward Members have taken the decision to approve temporary repairs while a longer term solution is investigated. 

Works will start on site on Monday 6 July and it is expected that they will take at least three weeks to complete which also allows for 5 – 7 days ‘drying’ before filling with water. An issue with any repair, whether temporary or permanent is that the time required for removal of screed, repair and application and curing/drying of paint is weather-dependent.

The paddling pool is normally operated for three months from 1 June to 31 August. In light of the unavoidable delays, High Life Highland, who operate the paddling pool on behalf of the Nairn Common Good, have undertaken to extend the opening of the pool up to the end of September, weather permitting. 

On behalf of the Nairn Ward Members, Provost of Nairn, Councillor Laurie Fraser said: “It seems that a permanent repair will be a lengthy and expensive job, so we have agreed to undertake a temporary repair to allow the paddling pool to open.

“We understand the substantial local interest in the play facilities at the Links and are keen to engage local families in the long term decisions that are made.” 

In September of 2015 Liz MacDonald said to a Nairn West Community Council meeting: 

“I think what we must do is have a consultation on it and be totally open about how much the cost to be to fix the paddling pool and what we could have as an alternative because I know there is a lot of historical attachment to the paddling pool, we’re one of the last ones in Scotland but at the same time the parents are saying let’s give us something we can use all year round.” More here. 

In January of this year things looked really bleak, Nairn River Community Council minutes from the 13th of that month state:

"The paddling pool was discussed. It emerged that the paddling pool is unlikely to open this year although consultation on whether a like for like replacement or an improved facility would be put in place. When asked whether another emergency repair could take place again this year Michael Green said that was not impossible however it would be dependent on the result of the consultation."

Later in January a Nairnshire Telegraph front page headline read: "No paddling pool this summer."

Now it appears there has been a turn around in fortunes for the pool and a repair is suddenly on the cards. This week's edition of the Nairnshire Telegraph details comment from a councillor who attended this morning's Ward Business Meeting in the Courthouse when the matter had been discussed. Essential reading material this week's Leopold Street Thunderer get your copy as soon as you can! 

There had been wide ranging discussion about the pool on the popular Facebook Group "Nairn Rocks!" over the weekend with many forthright views being expressed by local residents. The discussion on Nairn Rocks migrated to the Save Nairn Paddling Pool page which saw an influx of over a hundred new members in the space of a few hours which took that page's membership up to 675. There were calls for a crowd funding appeal to save the pool.  

The only councillor willing to respond on social media yesterday to public concerns over the pool was Stephen Fuller who said he would raise the issue of when consultation would beging at this morning's ward business meeting - that meeting must have been quite an interesting affair. 

Conversation about the latest development in the paddling pool saga is ongoing tonight on the Save Nairn Paddling Pool facebook group page here. 


Anonymous said...

Do they class opening in August. As this season??

Graisg said...

That part of the article is from a Highland Council press release from last year anon. Hopefully the pool will be repaired this year much earlier than it was last season.

Anonymous said...

It's a new financial year so why the delay in starting repair? The season will be over before the pool is in use
# could only happen in the Highlands

Anonymous said...

As it's being repaired so late in the year what's the betting that figures will be released saying it was hardly used in 2016 and therefore it should be bulldozed

Graisg said...

Hopefully they will repair it or start work on a repair within the next week or two and be ready for this summer season?

Anonymous said...

fill it in or demolish it,,,its costing a fortune,if they want to paddle,let them walk to the beach,,its not that far,,oh I forgot ,,parents cant get their cars that near to the water.

,,, ,, , said...

@ 5:34 PM

The paddling pool offers a safe environment for bairns, shallow depth, small space and no tides or currents unlike the nearby sea.

When I walked past at lunchtime I could see no sign of it being a drive thru facility for parents, they have to park up and walk there

I assume your arguments for it's closure would also apply to the swimming pool. It too costs a fortune and presumably folk could just walk to the beach if they wanted to swim?

Nairn fan said...

The paddling pool is a wonderful rsource for young children form Nairn and tourists alike. It would be a very spoor decision and very short term to close it.