Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Association of Nairn Businesses object to proposed retail unit and a restaurant with drive-thru lane at Balmakeith

In a submission to the planning application currently live on the Highland Council e-planning site the ANB state:

"The ANB objects to this application on three specific grounds: 
• it is inconsistent and in conflict with the existing conditions which were applied to the initial development on this site and have been endorsed by an Appeal Reporter and Ministers. These conditions are a material consideration and and are still applicable in respect of any and all other proposed retail development at this location; 

• if granted, this application will further damage the existing Nairn High Street retail businesses, and thus will undermine the very reasons which led to the original conditions being applied 

• the granting of consent for retail premises at this location would not be in compliance with national government planning policy as set out in the “Town Centres First” approach which is now embodied in Policy 1 of the Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan"

They then go on to refer to planning conditions imposed on the Sainsbury's development, including: "4. No part of the development shall be used as a café, restaurant (other than staff café or restaurant), post office or pharmacy."

The submission concludes:

" Our view is not only that the current application directly breaches the conditions already in place on specified types of retail development at this location. The ANB also regards this proposal for a drivein/take-away restaurant and for a Class 1 retailer of non-food products as likely, indeed certain, to inflict further damage on the viability of the existing High Street. To approve this application would thus contradict the reasoning for, and undermine the purposes of the conditions already in place – which are to preserve the vitality of the town centre and the provision of local retail facilities elsewhere in the town 

In terms of broader planning policy, in recent years the Government has adopted the principle of ‘Town centre first’ in terms of development planning. This has been incorporated into the current (July 2015) Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan. Because the present proposal may – indeed in our view will – have an adverse effect on Nairn Town centre, it does not comply with para 2.8 and Policy 1 of the IMFLDP.

 Every developer will make claims as to how their proposals will not result in any net detrimental effects on the local town centres, yet no one seems to be able to cite any examples of out of town shopping areas actually improving the local High Street. What we have seen in Nairn Town Centre since the above development was put in place is a decline in trade with people moving to the out of town location. To combat this the ANB are working with our Councillors and others to develop a BID (Business Improvement District) to enable an upturn in trade within the town through focussed cosmetic improvements as well as enhance marketing and collaborative working, all of which would be put at risk through a further decline in trade"

You can read the ANB submission in full and other objections and statements of support on the Highland Council e-planning site here under the comments and document tabs here. 


Anonymous said...

That is simply there opinion. I Have already stopped using the High street unless "passing". People say Sainsbury's is expensive but there is not much more choice in Nairn to get it cheaper. To get it cheaper you go to inverness or Forres! As for the drive through I may use it once a month but it will not affect how I use the high street. It would be interesting to know if Subway has taken trade away from Asher's or Morning noon or night?

Anonymous said...

Most of the planning process is about opinion, there are however lots of evidence out there re the impact out of town developments have on the town centre.

Anonymous said...

Its very interesting that certain people seem to want Nairn to stay stagnant. I say let other retailers in, you never know it might just keep people in Nairn to shop instead of going to Inverness and Forres for cheaper shopping. I for one will still go and shop where I choose not where Community Councils or Nairn Businesses tell me. Do they really have Nairn and its residents views at heart or is it their own opinions and values. I just wonder.

No Parking Charges said...

@Anon 10:30 AM

Three Nairn councillors voted for parking charges in Nairn. This is going to hit the current businesses hard and many folk might choose to shop outwith the town, Sainsbury's for example where parking is free

Of course anyone can shop where they like, but Forres and Inverness shops will also have had their town's community councils and businesses comment of any new developments there.

We have lost so many shops on Nairn High Street, I for one would hate to see that reduced further with small traders being effectively pushed out by large corporate concerns moving in.

Moss-sider said...

@Anon 10:30 AM
I have followed the position of the Community Councils over the last period, particularly that of the NRCC.
NRCC has been very consistent in its stance. A stance that apparently was taken early last year and was a group decision based on their experience and not based on personal opinions.
NRCC have and continue to campaign for improvements to the infrastructure in Nairn. That is: road (A96); water supply; sewage treatment and sewerage system; flood prevention and so forth. The objection raised by the NRCC on the application furthers that campaign. That is their stance, one we should all support them on, not undermine them so we can get the odd burger or "cheap" shopping. If a bus pass is available, jump on a number 10 to Lidl, prices are even cheaper there.
It is not in the gift of any community council to decide where people should do their shopping; nor would they want to. The decision to set planning conditions on the Sainsburys successful application to build their outlet at Balmakeith was taken by the South Planning Committee way back in 2010. As has been mentioned elsewhere what is the point of setting planning conditions just to set them aside to suit a developer, or a business model, at a later date, especially when nothing has changed to encourage that set-aside?
I support Nairn High Street whenever I can; I'm up there shopping regularly, with my dogs and I certainly do not want to see it go down-hill.

Anonymous said...

The view from the ANB will be the view taken from their members which includes the high st

Anonymous said...

The Co-op is good and its cheaper than Sainsburys.

B Morrison said...

Nairn high street is a festering corpse. why the hell would I pay 9.99 for a 2ft hdmi cable when I can get a higher quality gold plated 20ft one for 4.99 next day delivery. stop guilt tripping people on where they spend their money

Lemon Barley said...

At Anon 5:41 PM

Lemons (extensive Nairn price comparison)

Ramages - 35P

Sainsbury's - 35p (special price, lowered from 40p)

Co-op - 43p

I just wish Ramages would offer paper bags as that'd be a huge attraction for me

Anonymous said...

I would rather travel to towns that offer more choices and that are cheaper, than shop in Nairn. God forbid we should bring jobs to a town that is stuck in the dark ages

DG said...

Nairn high st. little choice and too expensive. I don't spend a penny in this town anymore.

Anonymous said...

When the ANB and NRC/NCC actually get out of their bubble and start listening to the people of Nairn the better. Either that or use the A96 and leave us to get on with requesting new shops and better choice!

Bubble gum said...

@Anon 9:20 AM

I think you'll find that members of ANB and the community councils that you mention are people who live/work/stay in Nairn. There's no bubble, just people like you who don't care to listen to their opinions. Still, you've always got the A96 option for yourself


Anonymous said...

Oh well Bubble Gum you have just answered my thoughts "their thoughts" not that of the people of Nairn. Totally biased opinions who want what is best for themselves not the people of Nairn. If anyone turns Nairn into a ghost town it will be ANB/Community Councils as they are driving people to shop elsewhere. Yes we do have the A96 and by the looks of it a lot of people are using it. People shop where they want not where they are dictated too.

Anonymous said...

Since the dark ages ANB has been blocking Nairn improving its shopping experience. People want a day out, and choice. Working for most of my life in retail i have watched Nairns shoppers deteriorate in numbers. Instead of looking after their own interests lighten up and bring Nairn into the real world. It cant get any worse.