Saturday, May 07, 2016

Gurn opinion: Let’s build Council Houses on Sandown and let’s get on with it quickly!

The Community (in the shape of the Community Councils and the majority decision of the Nairnshire Area Committee) remains resolutely against the development proposed for Nairn South given the difficulties development in that part of town would present to the already dangerous road situation on the Station Brae. The first paragraph of the front page of this week’s Nairnshire Telegraph details Nairn West/Suburban CCs feelings on the matter:

“A community council has described infrastructure recommendations in a Transport Appraisal for Nairn South as a “dead duck”. The watchdogs have also written to Nairn’s four ward councillors to say it has no confidence in Highland Council’s planers, including the director of development and infrastructure, Stuart Black.”

Around 30 members of the public attended the last Nairnshire Area committee in the Courthouse when the matter was discussed. A decision was made to put the matter out to more public consultation and Nairn South will come back to the committee in September for a final decision. What was noticeable was the age of those who went to lobby the councillors however. This observer believes that the age of the youngest member of the public present was 42. Younger people are against the traffic implications too, you can see that from comments on social media – they are, however, the ones more likely to consider the proposal in the light of the amount of “affordable housing” that would have to be built on Nairn South though and it is generally younger people that are in desperate need of housing in this area. So although the majority view is definitely against Nairn South there are those who will mention the desperate need for housing that exists in the town as a reason for allowing development at Nairn South.. 

So if the narrative is that we don’t want Nairn South under any circumstances at all then fine but let’s get on and change the agenda: young people need homes – let’s build them on Sandown! There’s plenty of room on those three fields. The town owns the land in the shape of the Common Good Fund. What seems to be emerging from Highland Council now is that things take time and there is a lack of staff after the cuts. OK then, the town owns the land and there are also architects and builders that live in Nairn, let’s use them and keep the whole thing moving round in our own economic environment if the Council can’t provide the resources to get things under way anymore. 

Let’s not forget that we have four councillors that earn a wage too – maybe they can pick up the slack and get on with some out of the box thinking that could see Council or “social housing” built on Sandown. People on the housing list have had enough waiting – time for action! Come on you guys build some homes on Sandown and tell the planners where to go with their ideas for Nairn South! You aren’t just there to tell us why we can’t have things – people expect you to lead and come up with initiatives. How about coming up with a plan before the elections for the Council in May of next year? Go the extra mile - get creative, kick **** if necessary and set something up outside of the existing structures if you have to. Just saying nothing can happen because of cutbacks will not be acceptable.

People are willing to get off their backsides and campaign against inappropriate development so now it is time for similar campaign action to enable more of the younger generation to enjoy the benefits of having their own home. So this observer suggest that every time we tell the planners where to go over Nairn South let us be equally vociferous in calling for public housing to be built on Sandown!

UPDATE: 20.51 Sunday 8th May 2016 - Interesting comments coming in including contributions from Citizen Murd. 


Anonymous said...

You are so right in your suggestion about Sandown.
I think you will find that there are more people not just wanting, but truly needing social housing, than there are opposing Nairn South.
If we can protest about Nairn South and hopefully get results.
then we need to really get up in arms against a council that doesn't care about our community.

Murd Dunbar said...

MURD said

I have had correspondence with the H.C. about having the danger on the brae removed and asked for them to consider what I think is an alternative to what has been offered .
They have replied by phone stating there is no money to do anything about the danger that exists there on the brae.
it's only A developer who will have money to spend to improve the situation on the brae.

THE MONEY was also something councilor M. Green mentioned when I asked at the C.C metting last week he agreed as did most of the people at that metting the brae is A danger to the public and was A priority but money was the problem.
I then said if it is not going to be a developer are we going to have to live what is there A few heads were heads were nodded in reply to this question .
So that's the suitation as it stands at the moment H.C. Will not spend on it so we have to accept what is there.
ANOTHER alternative is to build at Sandown use the money the Common good will have received and remove the danger from the brae!
I think that is something that will get the thumbs down and something that will be dismissed as just another suggestion of. MURDS.

Earl of Moray. said...

Excellent suggestion, Gurn, Nairn South, on top of all the other problems, is not intended to provide houses for Nairn Folk, but to sell houses, as dearly as possible,to anybody who can afford them. I.e. more middle class two car family dormitory types, commuting out every morning for work and shopping, or retirees from the big smoke. Neither will enhance quality of life in Nairn the one contributing to overcrowding of schools and roads without economic benefit, the other overwhelming our overstretched health service, and turning the place into a nursing home. The number of social houses provided by the developer would be derisory, as seen at Lochloy. Let's build quality rented accommodation at Sanddown, owned and managed by the Common good.

Anonymous said...

How about prefabs being built at Sandown ?.Although they were the answer to post war accommadation,many are still occupied today.One was sold referbished,on a T V property programme recently.I'm sure there would be plenty of people,who would love them.

Anonymous said...

How much money does the fund have? Would we need private investment?

Graisg said...

We have the land anon :-) There could development of private housing too and maybe even self-build plots for sale. Any public houses built could bring in a rental income too. The Common Good Fund itself could be the the developer. There will be those among the usual suspects and serious students who will perhaps have thoughts on finance.

Anonymous said...

The Davidson Trust.

Murd Dunbar said...

Hi there Mr Gurn. N
Something we both agree on Nairn needs housing for all who would like A place of there own and call it home. Where they are built will not concern me but just give it A thought Nairn South would solve two problems and kill two birds with one stone.
A developer willing to Build houses and make the Station brae safer. Not that I Agree with what the developer has proposed for the brae.
Something that prompted me to put to the H.C what I thought was A way to solve the safety of people using the brae. At the moment I am awaiting reply in writing and will send you A copy of both the reply and my proposel. Something if accepted can be done at A reasonable price.?
Now back to the building of homes. You -Me- and most of all those who need them want houses Built.
You and I both know when we attend mettings not all are in favour of more housing.
On the next breath they say the foot fall on the high street is A must to save buisnesses going to the wall but even that a be too late at the rate they are closing.!
But don't build on suggested sites. {As you know I have Been told they can move to Tornagrain}
They will also say Schools- Roads -Hospital - Sewerage ECT-ECT can't cope.
Infrastructure will be put in place by the developer but they will have to build enough house to justify the cost.

Sandown was on the cards as was the Farmers show field NAIRN SOUTH all receiving a knock back for what ever reason they could come up with to stop house building AND your readers will remember how they desperately tried to stop building the flats at the Bus station!
Nairn needs housing get them built for people.
Build them in Viewfeild if you like I have no objection to that just build homes for people who need them.


Moan Ranger said...

Great logic from Murd. Destroy all the things people love about Nairn the folk will want to stop living here!. Crisis solved!!

I really like the idea of selling sandown off in plots. The money raised could then go into building social housing maybe at sandown? One issue though is can new social housing be reserved for only Nairn residents or does it have to go highland wide?

Anonymous said...

Let us not forget that one of our four councillors (Liz MacDonald) is a potential developer herself (90 homes?) along Lochloy Rd so is unable to partake in any planning related work (why is she still a paid councillor?)

The main question I have is that of what is the need in Nairn for private housing? There is a huge waiting list for social housing, and each and every housing planning application has a token number of affordable housing units (whatever that is)

It seems to me that every planning application for private housing to be built in Nairn is about profit not need, am I wrong?

Murd Dunbar said...

You shur are wrong anonymous
Please tell me how or what business do not run to make A prifit? Then tell every one why shops are closing if they don't need to make A profit?. No business can run with out profit not even the charity shops.
There is a need for housing.
Are you willing to build and sell at what it cost you?

D.Ross said...

To Murd Dunbar@7:40AM

Your Statement of "Please tell me how or what business do not run to make A prifit? Then tell every one why shops are closing if they don't need to make A profit?."

There are MANY reasons why a shop/business may close.

In my case I was making a profit. Just that over the years more & more distributors/manufactures can't be bothered dealing with the smaller shops. They just want to concentrate on the big chain stores as it easy money for them, so you find that your accounts with them are closed, & therefore you can't get the quality of items you wish to sell.

When one account closed my account they said that 80% of the total number of businesses/accounts they dealt with only accounted for 20% of their turnover. So the 80% turnover came from big chain stores, one account/one head buyer etc to deal with for the head office at the chain store, nice & easy, fewer reps on the road.