Saturday, September 19, 2020
Thursday, September 17, 2020
The Inverness Courier reports:
"Councillors Ron MacWilliam (Inverness Ness-side) and Kirsteen Currie (North, West and Central Sutherland) – both known as vocal champions of their wards – had been suspended during the lockdown but tonight they were reinstated.
Insider.co.uk reports: "Eight stores from Glasgow-based retailer M&Co's portfolio are to be sold in an online auction next week." Although a sign on the outside of the shop advertising the auction says "Business not affected".
"The properties are in High Street in Nairn, Rotterdam Street in Thurso, Dockhead Street in Saltcoats, High Street in Wick, High Street in Hawick, Main Street in Wishaw, Channel Street in Galashiels and Dalrymple Street in Girvan."
Details on this Highland Council page. The objection to the removal of one of the boxes at "Fraser Park" states:
"1 objection received, citing importance to school children and motorists on A82. Removal would exacerbate risks to public safety in the event of an emergency as well as deprivation for local residents without access to mobile phones."
More details here, the consultation is still ongoing and will close on the 10th of October.
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
The controversial King Street development is making headlines in the Nairnshire Telegraph this week and the editorial in the paper centres on the ongoing arguments for and against the development.
Anyway if you have any thoughts about what is best for the town centre then this survey page over on the NICE website may be of interest to you and also the comments entered below it.
Saturday, September 12, 2020
The Home Bargains store is open at Balmakeith. Definitely more choice for consumers in the town now and this is the type of store that people travel out of town to visit, jobs have been created too. There are worries however of potential impact on the High Street.
Update: been up this evening and that was a very good experience. Bargains yes, well worth a look and traffic light entry system if things get too busy. Verdict - will be back.
Tuesday, September 08, 2020
Parking charges for the Harbour, the Maggot, Cumming Street/Links areas back on the Agenda - NRCC asking public questions about how to proceed with Highland Council proposals for Tourist Welcome
Nairn River Community Council state on their website that during a recent online meeting between the town's two Community Councils and 3 of the town's Highland Councillors it emerged that :
Saturday, September 05, 2020
"In early August, and again today, Nairn River Community Council as
Statutory Consultee, requested that Planning Officers arrange a 'site
visit' for members of the South Planning Application Committee to give
them an opportunity to see for themselves how this proposed, newbuild
would impact on Nairn's Town Centre and the existing local Masterplan,
before they make their decision."
More on the Nairn River CC site here.
Friday, September 04, 2020
The Wee County social media page states
***CLUB 1914 - 50 MEMBERS***
Our new supporters' loyalty scheme, Club 1914 launched on Tuesday and we are absolutely delighted to report that within 24 hours of the launch, we have 50 members signed up.
Club 1914 rewards supporters for their loyalty with a number of members only benefits and payment milestone gifts. Members receive merchandise discounts, advanced option to purchase new shirts before general sale, breaking news notifications and free exclusive pin badges, hats, scarves and shirts after reaching each payment milestone.
For more details and to join, click on the link below:
Tuesday, September 01, 2020
Nairn County have launched a new supporters’ loyalty scheme to reward fans for their backing.
Club 1914 –named after the year the football club was founded –gives supporters all over the world the chance to make direct contributions to the running of Nairn County and in return, they will be rewarded each time they reach a payment milestone as well as receiving exclusive members’ benefits.
The idea is the brainchild of County committee member and former full back, Ali Nicol.
Ali said: “We wanted to come up with something which rewarded fans not only locally but from far and wide as well for their support of the club. We feel that the membership benefits and payment milestones offered to Club 1914 members does that.
“It gives fans the chance not only to help the club out but to get closer to the club than ever before.
“We realise that the supporters have been fantastic for us, particularly over the last few years and we wanted to reward that loyalty along the way.
“It is really quick and easy to sign up to Club 1914 and supporters can contribute as little or as much as they are comfortable with and still take advantage of all the members benefits.
“The funds raised go directly into helping the club with strengthening the playing squad and improving the facilities around Station Park, so we hope that fans feel their contributions are being put to good use.
”All members of Club 1914 receive free entry to Nairn County home friendly fixtures, 20% off club merchandise, advanced option to purchase new kits before general sale, breaking news notifications direct by email and free entry to quarterly prize draw
.As well as this, once members reach payment milestones of £50, £100, £300, £500 and £750 they will receive a free Club 1914 pin badge, woolly hat, scarf, unique Nairn County shirt and match day hospitality pass for two people respectively.
Club 1914 is the new supporters’ membership scheme from Nairn County where fans can contribute directly to the club and earn rewards along the way.
An exciting new initiative from the Wee County
What is Club 1914?
"The Nairn County fanbase stretches the world over and we are all in it together – supporter, player and the football club.
Club 1914 is a fresh initiative which allows supporters to show their loyalty to Nairn County no matter where you are in the world and we believe that your loyalty should be rewarded.
Fans now have the opportunity to get closer to their club than ever before and receive a number of members only benefits along the way."
Thursday, August 27, 2020
The CAB and flats option for King Street is to go ahead then? The Press and Journal reports:
"A £3 million development will create 12 flats and a new Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) office in Nairn."
Sunday, August 16, 2020
In the meantime if there's not much being posted here it's worth having a look at the Gurn twitter account. Quite a lot happens in the Nairn twittersphere these days and you can scroll down the wee twitter box on the right hand side as far as you like to see what the latest craic is. You don't have to have an account to look at tweets either.
Tweets by @GurnNurn
Wednesday, August 05, 2020
Thursday, July 23, 2020
King Street flats and CAB application - submissions to Highland Council's e-planning pages stacking up - including submission from a heritage architects firm in Edinburgh
"Mr John Sanders
Comment submitted date: Mon 20 Jul 2020
We object to this application due to the following concerns;
- that the conservation of the existing listed buildings and the stone buildings within this historic area has not been fully taken into account.
- The development could prevent or restrict the prospect of regeneration of the listed buildings on or near the site
- The design does not full respect the urban history of the site
- The proposed design is too large and high for the site and overshadows an existing listed building
- A bin store would be built against the wall of a listed building - this would damage its appearance and restrict beneficial future use
The regeneration project for central Nairn is clearly important. Regeneration of a historic urban area should start with the conservation of existing buildings of value. This must include listed buildings but should also include all stone buildings. The underuse, dereliction or demolition of these buildings would harm the historic character of the area. If these buildings are in good condition and in a sustainable use, then they enhance the character of the area in a way that no new building could achieve.
Effective and well considered planning for the regeneration of a historic area must enable a sustainable new use for the listed and other heritage buildings. A proposal which puts a further constraint on the already difficult to achieve conservation of existing buildings, is poor quality planning. We consider that it is vital that this application should include, in its design statement, an explanation of how this project aids or impedes the regeneration of the surrounding area. This should include an options appraisal for the school and police station buildings. This study should include an assessment of the possible uses of the buildings and the amenity, servicing, and parking requirements for each use. This kind of assessment is needed before the new building is designed. If the proposed building overshadows the existing buildings to the point that they could not be used for conversion to housing or offices, for instance, this consideration should guide the design to reduce overshadowing or proximity. If excavation or services trenches for the new building could also include the necessary upgrade to services for the existing buildings, then that would save money in the regeneration project overall.
The building only responds to the historic urban grain because it is a rectangular building set at right angles to the direction of the main street. In a historic context, understanding urban grain is essential before producing a design. It needs to be considerably more subtle than has been shown for this application. The ordnance survey maps of 1866 and 1904 show that the plots for houses on the High Street ran at 90 degrees to the street, as would be expected in any Scottish town. However, due to the high status of many of these houses, this grain was not particularly urban. The area around the free church and school was not developed apart from the gardens, and presumably, garden walls, until the late 19th century. For its first half century, the building would have been visible from the west and east. The development of the immediate area involved three major buildings - the Free Church of 1840, the Free Church School 1847, and the Police Station 1869-1902. This means that the two surviving buildings were two thirds of the total of the first and only generation of development of this backland to the north side of the High Street. Paramount in responding to the urban grain should be a respect paid to the surviving buildings which are now the only surviving record of this urban grain. Without them, we would have no above-ground physical record of the urban grain in this area, or of the character of development, or of the attractive sandstone used to build them.
Simpson & Brown Architects"
Thursday, July 16, 2020
Heads in the Sand G20 protest by Extinction Rebellion on Nairn central beach earlier today - pictures by Murray Macrae
Saturday, July 04, 2020
In the meantime if there's not much being posted here it's worth having a look at the Gurn twitter account. Quite a lot happens in the Nairn twittersphere these days and you can scroll down the wee twitter box on the right hand side as far as you like to see what the latest craic is. You don't have to have an account to look at tweets either.
Tweets by @GurnNurn
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Monday, June 29, 2020
King Street twists and turns - a planning application that just keeps getting more and more curious...
The stuff you normally see at the start of the application process but such has been the gravity of issues raised in the process that it seems a lot has had to be adjusted. A quick look into the design statement reveals:
“This Design Statement has been updated along with the other relevant information as a result of feedback from the consultation process. The principle change to the project is that the Old Social Work building will now not be demolished as part of this planning application”
So what now for the OSWB? Still to come down at a later date? that does seem to have been the desire of Glenurquhart Road for some time despite the survival of the OSWB having been integrated into the existing town centre plan after an expensive consultation paid for by the Scottish Government. An interesting juncture then for the plan by the new Nairn “powerhouse” team of the town's Community Councils, BID and Nice, to repurpose the OSWB? More here.
With the Covid-19 emergency it has been harder for the planning process to proceed effectively given the restraints on meetings and perhaps too the need to be as transparent as possible enters into choppy waters given the temporary arrangements at Glenurquhart road during the crisis. Given that the Council are prosecution, judge and jury in this case (applicant, planning authority and developer on the project) - Their vested interests mean that under planning legislation they are required to be extra scrupulous in how they deal with this.
Here at the Gurn we feel there is room for critics to suggest that this is now an entirely new application and should be resubmitted and considered in a post-Covid environment. They would argue that this is necessary so that we get it right for the town and the Council cannot then be in anyway accused of rushing things along at an inappropriate time with an application that has become a bit of a quagmire.
This is an important and controversial planning application, if you have any spare time on your hands then make a cuppa or pour a dram and catch up with all the latest documents here on the Highland Council planning site. It's your town, have you had your say yet?
Friday, June 26, 2020
There was a fairly major outbreak about 5 years ago, and certainly in the Nairn area almost all gardeners lost their cabbages, cauliflowers, sprouts etc. The moths come in from the continent, and this lot have probably come in from Scandinavia with its warmer summers, on the easterly winds which have predominated recently. Prior to that outbreak, the internet reports a UK outbreak in the late 1980's when I was abroad, and before that in the 1950's. Notice how the first three were approx. 30 years apart, now we're talking 5 years - this might say something about global warming!
I'm not sure how this affects commercial growers of Brassicas. The moths may only infest the field margins in which case losses will be minimised. But on small plots, gardens and allotments you can expect a total crop loss if these moths continue to spread, which seems likely in the current warm weather. A change to colder or wetter weather might stop them in their tracks, and it may be that they will not penetrate far inland, but certainly all our members should be aware of the problem.
What can you do? Well, if you had already covered your brassicas with fleece or stuff like "enviromesh", all should be well. If not, it may already be too late. Pyrethroids are effective, but are probably no longer available to amateur growers. Yellow sticky traps in the crop may help trap a few hundred adults, but on current evidence there will soon be millions of these moths around. SB Plant Invigorator might have some effect if used weekly, and is organic. Other things like garlic solution, washing powder in dilute mix with water, and other home remedies might help. If you do nothing, and the moths arrive at your garden, you will lose the whole crop.
Be warned, please, and take appropriate action!
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Nairn Business Improvement District (BID), Nairn Improvement Community Enterprise (NICE) and the town’s two community councils believe by pooling their resources they can get the seaside town back on its feet with a series of initiatives.
Representatives from each of the groups have developed a strategy for recovery which will involve engaging with Highland Council and relevant public agencies and others to mobilise resources.
The key aims of the group are to take forward projects which will support enterprise and job creation, to retain local workforce and skills and to promote Nairn as a place to live and visit.
Speaking on behalf of the collaboration, Bob Ferenth a member of the Nairn BID board and convener of the group said: “There are many projects that we can develop as a collective working group and have identified several that should be progressed to help revive and improve the town. By working collaboratively, we will have a stronger voice. The effects of the downturn are already evident, but the community wants to move quickly to plan for and build a more resilient local economy for Nairnshire.”
He added: “During the lockdown, businesses adapted and found new ways of operating, but these were short-term responses to the immediate crisis. The local economy now faces the threat of a substantial rise in redundancies as the furlough scheme winds down. Some local businesses are not yet confident of reopening. Guest bookings are uncertain. Almost all the major annual events that bring visitors have been cancelled. What our collective approach has done is identify key areas such as encouraging visitors, regenerating the town centre, enhancing the amenities at the Links, and improving access and travel routes into and around the town to name but a few, that will help Nairn recover from what has been catastrophic for the local economy.”
Speaking specifically about tourism, Michael Boylan, chairman of Nairn BID said: “Our collective aim is to limit and alleviate the impact of the current difficulties and find ways of encouraging the tourism, visitors and footfall which so many businesses depend on. The beach is still there as are the golf courses and there are plenty of outdoor recreational options. We want to persuade people to visit and enjoy what Nairn offers and contribute to the revival of the local economy.”
Work has already begun on a new children’s splash pad which was a jointly funded project between charity Team Hamish, NICE, Nairn Common Good Fund and Highland Council.
Alastair Noble, Chair of NICE said this is evidence that collaboration can lead to positive outcomes: “The entire community responded to the Team Hamish vision. The partnership shows that cooperation can work. We now need to extend and reinforce that approach on a much more ambitious scale to deliver the kind of measures that will keep the local economy going and sustain local employment.”
Led by NICE, the group has already submitted an application to the Scottish Government, with the support of Highland Council for funding to restore and repurpose a historic building as a visitor centre and business hub which is intended to encourage greater footfall into the High Street.
Sheena Baker, chair of Nairn West and Suburban CC said: “We are already making waves and in this time of adversity, it is more important than ever the people of Nairn pull together.
“We are counting on our elected councillors to join in these efforts and to back the proposals and projects which we are proposing. Public money will be needed.
“The Council is meeting on Thursday (June 25) to consider the challenges of regeneration and recovery. We are keen to collaborate in action which will make a real and sustainable difference to the economy, will create and protect jobs, and will enable us to find a way out of the present difficult situation.”
|Nairn BID chairman Michael Boylan, Tommy Hogg, chairman of Nairn River Community Council, Sheena Baker chair of Nairn West and Suburban CC and Alastair Noble Chairman of NICE|
Thursday, June 18, 2020
|Click to enlgare image|
So there it is folks, NWSCC had stated in their contribution to the Spaces for People consultation:
"Also our businesses need to make High Street shopping as easy as possible to survive this desperate trading period, and the BID is firmly against any restriction on normal parking."
You can read the full submission here.
We have also obtained a copy of a letter that NWSCC member Joan Noble had published today in the Glasgow Herald on the subject of the risk of contracting Covid at either 1 metre or 2 metres in Scotland
Sunday, June 14, 2020
"Moray tourism initiatives share in £500k from Covid-19 emergency fund" Will anything be coming Nairn's way soon?
Despite a detailed submission from Nairn West and Nairn Suburban Community Council to the Highland Councils bid for cash from the Scottish Government's Spaces for People Covid emergency fund - all the subsequent £752K received is to be spent in Inverness - more here. There are worries that this could be the template for future funding initiatives with the lion's share always going to Inverness and little or nothing to Nairn.
Saturday, June 13, 2020
The Nairn Branch of the Legion have published a video of the event on their facebook page here.Nairn’s commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the Highland Division’s last stand at St Valeryhttps://t.co/FHrh016GVu#StValery80 @GurnNurn @poppyscotland pic.twitter.com/Y13ux8qU6E— Alexander Williamson (@AlexJohnWill) June 13, 2020
|The monument to the 51st Highland Division above St Valery|
|War Graves at St Valery|
Thursday, June 11, 2020
Scottish Government’s Pandemic initiative "Spaces for People fund" award proves Inverness comes first for Highland Council?
"COVID-19 AND ACTIVE TRAVEL : Submission from Nairn West and Suburban Community Council
The Highland Council launched an online consultation on 15 May seeking comments on proposals for early action to promote safer active travel in and around local communities in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The objectives are to “deliver safe active travel connections … to maximise opportunities for social distancing” and to “provide a necessary springboard for town and city centre recovery and regeneration as ... places need to be adapted to be safe for work, business and leisure.”
NW&SCC welcomes this initiative and strongly supports the Highland Council’s bid for additional funding for this purpose. We are encouraging members of the local community to submit comments via the online survey portal. But we also wish to make an agreed submission setting out our views on the broader policy. We think it important that any action should take account of the local context and history: much consideration has already been given to options for improving access, for town centre pedestrianisation, and for similar measures.
We urge that action taken now should contribute to a longer-term strategy to improve safer active travel in Nairn. We believe that any short-term measures implemented now should not be applied on an ad-hoc temporary basis – since this would not represent value for money. This funding must be used to make changes which will be sustainable and produce long term gains not spent on measures which will have no short or long term benefit to the town as it moves into recovery phase. We wish a lasting legacy for health and activity to come out of this time. The measures should be integrated with the Council’s core paths strategy, ‘green’ energy efficiency agenda, and the A96 bypass plans for walking and cycleways.
The consultation document sets out two proposals for Nairn – both apparently intended to address the “social distancing during essential travel” requirement. We do not believe that these are appropriate or adequate, for the reasons outlined:
This would not be a good use of this money.
Nairn’s High Street and Leopold Street pavements were widened to over 2 metres as part of a very extensive streetscape project a few years ago. There is no major problem maintaining social distancing either while queueing or passing other people, except in a few locations such as the Brae, and a short section at the start of Cawdor Street where the road width precludes pavement-widening or demarcation of cycle lanes. There is little scope for further modification of pavements without major reconfiguration of the road network. Adding further restrictions on cars and lorries using the High Street and its connecting roads before the opening of the bypass would only add to the congestion on other residential streets and the A96 and its junctions through the town.
Suspending on street parking.
Nearly 50% of Nairn on street parking is for loading or disabled, so these spaces are required and will continue to be used. The other spaces are at present at a premium for our large elderly population who may not have blue badges but need to shop by car with least risk of contact. It would make absolutely no sense to have those who are at least risk of Covid (the younger /fitter /more active) to have street space preference to those at higher risk. On-street parking in the one-way High Street is already in ‘recessed’ or inset bays in the wider pavements, so suspending these spaces would not assist the safer movement of either cyclists and pedestrians.
Also our businesses need to make High Street shopping as easy as possible to survive this desperate trading period, and the BID is firmly against any restriction on normal parking.
We believe it is essential to have a more coherent and effective strategy which will deliver on the objectives already identified:
• Rapid roll out of designated spinal routes across settlements.
• Safe connections to major healthcare facilities and other destinations.
• Safe recovery and regeneration of village, town and city centres
This funding must be used to make changes which will be value for money, sustainable and produce long term gains in active travel.
The Local Context
Nairn and its environs are ideal for walking, wheeling and cycling. A microclimate which results in reasonably dry weather and avoids extremes in winter should encourage active travel for work, school, leisure and light shopping. In particular, as far as cycling is concerned, the countryside is relatively flat, the town is compact with a good range of high street shops and there is a nice mixture of on and off road capacity, with the historic sites of Cawdor, Fort George, Brodie and Auldearn all within easy distance for the average cyclist. Walking provides opportunities for beautiful beach, forest and riverside walks, and some of these are also suitable for wheeling.
The challenge of the A96
However the perennial problem is the A96 trunk road generating constant traffic and pollution through the centre of town. Previous studies have shown that around 15,000 cars daily transit Nairn with 80% not stopping in the town. These volumes preclude safe cycling even with a cycle lane according to Sustrans. Advisory cycle lanes are dangerous where traffic is heavy and there are multiple side roads, with the majority of cycle accidents being at junctions.
Moreover A96 congestion produces rat running through many of the Nairnshire back roads which used to be very safe and quiet for walking and cycling, but now are as dangerous as the main road.
The agreed solution, already endorsed by Highland Council, Transport Scotland, local MSPs and Ministers, is the delivery of the bypass. Once in place, the former route through the town can be reconfigured to offer safe access and a route for all users.
A Network of Safe Spinal Routes: marked, enhanced and signposted
During the pandemic there has been an exponential rise in the number of walkers and cyclists exploring Nairnshire, and discovering places they never knew existed in their back yards.
Key to getting both locals and visitors cycling, wheeling and walking longer term is to have a joined up and clearly signed network of routes into, through and around the town: isolated sections of marked pathway are both unattractive and ineffective. Routes should avoid the A96 apart from crossing at designated places
We require a major investment in signage and associated maps and information provision both in the town and further afield. This would reinforce and complement an initiative already launched by the Nairn Connects BID, and so should be planned in collaboration with that group and other local advisers. Suitable routes and infrastructure to facilitate active travel and ease of access will be critical to the revival and regeneration of the town as a destination and hub with repurposed and resurrected buildings.
At present there is an almost total lack of signage to encourage active travel.
We would like to see a plan which includes:
Signage and readily available information in the town centre as outlined in the town centre action plan, linking King Street and the High Street
Signage through Viewfield to the Leisure Park, beach and promenade .
Signage from Tradespark and Cranloch to cycle/walking paths and roads into town. (Avoiding A96)
Signage to extend the Auldearn cycle path via Boath Park / Grantown Road into town/ primary schools/ healthcare and also up and down the riverside. (Avoiding A96)
Signage around harbour, promenade and East Beach.
Proper signage to RSPB Culbin and forest walks or off road cycling.
There is also a need to widen and/or mark existing cycleways and footpaths where appropriate around the town, in particular establishing safe designated walking and cycling routes to schools.
Maps, Apps and leaflets
Both locals and tourists need to have route information and maps to plan for safe cycling, walking and wheeling.
In the past Highland Council has produced leaflets for walking routes and private individuals have published maps for cycling. These now need funding for updating and made available on line, as apps and as leaflets for locals and tourists alike.
Street and Park Enhancements
If people are going to be out walking, wheeling and on bikes in larger numbers whether for shopping, work or leisure there have to be more facilities for them apart from safe well signed and maintained paths and roads.
a)Secure bike stands in convenient places. (Some covered)
(There are no bike stands in the central car parks and only 1 rack of 3 spaces on the High St)
b)Well maintained numerous benches and picnic tables.
c)Good access to high quality toilets especially for those with mobility issues.
d) Provision of showers for visitors – possibly linked with the marina.
e)Timely maintenance and strimming of core paths especially higher up the river.
Completing missing links.
There are some notable missing links in the paths network in and around Nairn such as:
Active travel provision for the Lochloy estate. The pathways within the area do not connect or link onward into the town centre and other facilities and services. In particular, the bridge over the railway to Balmakeith – already identified as a developer-funded contribution should be a priority. Consideration should be given to making this a vehicle link as well, as the current access to the 1000 houses at Lochloy is absolutely unacceptable.
the continuation of the foot/cycle path from Delnies Schoolhouse to the Delnieswood Caravan site/end of Moss-side Road giving safe access to Nairn by walking, wheeling or bike, and in the other direction, accessing quiet roads to Ardersier , Carse Wood and Fort George.
Extending the Auldearn cycle/walking path into central Nairn by signposting existing routes away from the A96 via Boath Park and Jubilee Bridge.
the Moray Firth Coastal Path section from Nairn via Ardersier to Inverness, already identified as a priority in the agreed local development plans.
Access to the Nairn Hospital and Health Centre
The Covid-19 pandemic has underlined the need for safe exercise and social distancing but also better access to relevant healthcare facilities. The routes to Nairn Healthcare are constrained by the bridge/underpass on Cawdor Road. Demarcating a cycle route along Cawdor Road is constrained by the narrowness of the road and its pavement.
However on the east side of town, the existing pathways from Auldearn, BoathPark and Broadhill via the Jubilee Bridge provide an existing access to Mill Road and Nairn Healthcare which should be promoted and signed. Joining the latter part of this route from Acre Street would avoid Cawdor Rd.
From the west, the route from Tradespark/Cranloch across Lochdhu level crossing to Cawdor Road is a level and easy route to healthcare facilities.
Covid incidence is extremely low in Highland, and the emphasis must be on spending any money available to support and build on the present local enthusiasm for active travel. The aim should be not to provide short term contingency measures, but make longterm changes to infrastructure and access. This will also help what will be a long and painful recovery for both local and tourist businesses.
We have had a wake up call on how individual actions can have an effect on climate change and that each of us can play an important part in a healthier future for both ourselves, our families and the planet."
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Proud day for @teamhamishnairn as first phase of work is set to start on Nairn’s new children’s splash pad next week - Full story here - https://t.co/vaYuZFnSGM pic.twitter.com/OlS6ArxKYh— The Highland Council (@HighlandCouncil) June 10, 2020
Tuesday, June 09, 2020
Monday, June 08, 2020
|Nairn Academy Orchard|
Quite a few people have learnt pruning, grafting and other orchard skills in Nairn in recent years and are willing to put these skills into practice. Now it's time to look for more orchard sites around town for future plantings. Public/Community or private spaces (residences or businesses) can be considered as long as relevant permissions can be obtained and residents asked for their views before anything happens. It might just be a spot for two or three trees or perhaps you could manage quite a few more – give a thought too as to how you could get involved in looking after any fruit trees that are planted.
|Apples at Sandown picture 2017|
Rowen Henderson and his Film G club friends produce video with pioneering alternative band Nohumaneye
https://t.co/iUoMiVe7T6— nohumaneye (@nohumaneye) June 1, 2020
Simulation is the first release from our album Age of Extinction, available from today on streaming platforms. A talented young film maker Rowen Henderson made the promo. We hope you like it.
Sunday, June 07, 2020
And regardless of what you think of the proposals for the King Street buildings (see yesterday's article) it was clearly stated in the Town Centre plan that they should be preserved. Anyway back to the success of Maybole.
Project Scotland also state:
Why, why, why have things been so slow for us - Nairn wants action - why are the powers that be not coming up with a funding package for us?
Saturday, June 06, 2020
"For the provision of only 15 parking spaces, the demolition of this group of buildings is not only a significant loss architecturally but also a significant loss to Nairn's history and character." Highland Council department criticises King Street Flats/CAB plans
The proposed development is located to the west of 4 and 6 Courthouse Lane, a single storey Italianate Category B listed building. The building was once dominated and overshadowed by the large and featureless 2-storey rear extension to the free church. When the church was demolished it opened up views of the listed building which not only significantly enhanced its setting but also increased its prominence and presence within the wider townscape. Although the proposed development is located slightly to the north of the church, and the impact will not be as pronounced as previously, it will nonetheless reinstate a significant solid mass to the north-west of the listed building, partially obscuring the building from King Street and isolating the building once more from its wider context.
In order to fully understand the impact, or lack thereof, to the listed building It would be useful to see visualisations of the proposed development within its wider context, including how it relates to the listed building.
Demolition of existing buildings
62 King Street is composed of four buildings in a U-shape with a central courtyard. All are of stone construction with slate roofs with wide coped end stacks. They likely date to around the early to mid-19th century, but could be earlier and are unlikely to all be contemporary; the plainer 2-storey building to the left of the two facing King Street for example appears to be earlier in date to the more finely detailed 1 ¾ building adjacent, with its canted bay and attractive stone dormers. There is a single storey wing to the north and a public toilet block forms the east wall. Although all buildings are currently boarded up and unused, they have a significant street presence and could make a very positive contribution to Nairn.
Although the buildings are not listed or in a conservation area, they are quality stone buildings with some fine architectural detailing. They are prominently sited on one of the Nairn's main thoroughfares which, over the last 50-60 years has lost most of its traditional and characterful buildings, including the free church once located on the site of the proposed flats, primarily to car parks or poor quality modern development. It would seem a retrograde step to demolish what appears to be a perfectly functional group of historic buildings of considerable character and townscape value to provide 15 compensatory parking spaces for the new development. The existing buildings not only have considerable embodied energy but could also accommodate multiple additional housing units; I would want to see much more detailed consideration given to how the existing asset could be better and more sustainably utilised. Additionally, given that this is town centre development, that the proposed flats are located in an area already largely dominated by car parks and that Nairn has good public transport connections by road and rail, are there no other options available to the applicant to deliver 15 parking spaces that do not require the demolition of this group of historic buildings?
For the provision of only 15 parking spaces, the demolition of this group of buildings is not only a significant loss architecturally but also a significant loss to Nairn's history and character. In both conservation and sustainability terms I am unable to support this part of the application without further justification and evidence that demonstrates that there is no other option and no other viable solution. Therefore the Historic Environment Team objects to the proposal.
The proposal is contrary to Historic Environment Policy for Scotland, specifically policies for Managing Change (HEP2 and HEP4) - happy to expand on this if required. Furthermore, the proposal does not accord with Policy 57 of the Highland-wide Local Development Plan which requires the Council to judge proposals in terms of their impact upon the natural, built and cultural heritage. As an application relating to an unlisted building listed on the Highland Historic Environment Record (previously Sites and Monuments Record), Policy 57.1 states that developments are suitable where it can be satisfactorily demonstrated that they will not have an unacceptable impact on the protected amenity and heritage resource. In this case the unjustified demolition of a good quality and attractive grouping of Victorian buildings and consequent negative impact to the wider townscape for the purposes of providing additional car parking is not considered to be acceptable."
Friday, June 05, 2020
Police in Nairn are appealing for information following two males causing disorder on Maggot Road, Nairn around midnight on Thursday, 4th June.
At around midnight on Thursday, 4 June 2020, on Maggot Road in Nairn, between Parkdean Caravan Park and Riverside Court, two males approached a passing vehicle and shouted and swore at the driver which casued him fear and alarm. The driver of the vehicle had to reverse down the road, turn and make his way back towards Parkdean Caravan Park due to the behaviour of these two males.
The first male is described as being approximately 50-60 years old, heavy build, with a dark beard, dark hair and wearing dark clothing.
The second male is described as being approximately 40-50 years old, with short hair or a bald head, wearing blue jeans and a dark jacket.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident number 0006 04/06/20
Thursday, May 21, 2020
Sunday, May 17, 2020
Highland Council proposes network of safe walking and cycling routes in response to Coronavirus pandemic - consultation for communities
We had a quick look at the consultation documentation for what is proposed for "Nairn Interventions" and it's a bit minimalist really but as they say above "the Council considers this as only the start of the conversation". Picture from that part of the webpage below. You can participate here.