Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A whole lot of legal stuff about the fishings on the River Nairn and a knock back for a Designated Wildlife Area?

A document going before the Nairnshire Area Committee on Monday has a recommendation concerning the fishings on the lower part of the River Nairn in the town - well what better way to put it than copy and paste the background paragraph:

" The fishings on the River Nairn between the harbour and Howford Bridge are
currently leased to Nairn Angling Club. The lease forms Appendix One to this Report. The most recent lease was agreed by Nairn District Council in 1995. The lease is for 99 years and the Angling Club have an option to extend the lease for a further 99 year period on 1st January 2094. There are no break provisions. The annual rental payable by the Angling Club is £50 + VAT. The rental income is paid in to the Common Good account. This rental is not subject to any form of review. The fishings attract an annual levy and this figure has been met from the Common Good account. The levy is currently £9100 per annum."

There is a school of thought in the town that it shouldn't be the Common Good that pays this but the Highland Council given the way the lease was detailed in 1995. There then follows a lot of legal and historical information that is a very interesting read but perhaps a wee bit beyond the average lay person (this slightly tired and emotional observer tonight anyway)?

Fast forward to para 4.7

"Given there is evidence pointing in both directions it is not possible currently to
form a definitive view on the status of the fishings and the implications that might follow. In the circumstances it is recommended that members agree to support further investigation and the instruction of an external legal Opinion. The Council has previously sought the assistance of Professor Robert Rennie to consider common good related issues in both Inverness and Wick."

So the internal folk that have been asked for an opinion are suggesting that the Nairnshire Committee look elsewhere for an opinion. 

Anyway on to the matter of an application to create a designated wildlife area on the River Nairn. Again from the document

  "A petition has been received by the Council in relation to the above and has been deemed competent for consideration by the Depute Chief Executive in line with the Council’s petitions procedure."

"The Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust initiated a petition in November 2016 with regard to the creation of a designated wildlife haven on the River Nairn asking that the Highland Council recognise the area between the A96 road bridge and the Bailey Bridge at the harbour as a wildlife haven."

The application is discussed in detail in the document and this observer tends to think that the Swan and Duck Trust folk might take issue with some of the material there. Anyway the conclusion is that the application should be knocked back:

"Having given consideration to the petition request, whilst recognising the matter raised and appreciating the interest shown, taking into account the broader issues outlined it is not felt that the petition can be upheld."

Gurnites can download a copy of the report and other documents going before the committee here or read a copy online here. 

Swans on the lower River Nairn


Paul said...

Does this "The fishings attract an annual levy and this figure has been met from the Common Good account. The levy is currently £9100 per annum" mean that the Common Good account is paying £9100 to someone every year. If so then who's the lucky winner?

Graisg said...

The Findhorn, Nairn and Lossie Fisheries Trust.

Graisg said...

@ anon re shelter, was discussed at River CC last night and is on the way apparently.