The Highland Council consultation document reads:
"What is proposed?
A sale of 38 hectares of Common Good property lying either side of the A96 at the western boundary of Nairn. The extent of property included in the proposal is shown in the plans and images below and is described in the Highland Council Common Good Asset Register for Nairn as follows:
Inverness Road, IV12 5NT.
The lands run either side of the A96.
On the left/north side (heading towards Nairn) the lands are bordered by road to Ruthven, A96, Sandown Farm Lane & properties to the rear of Tradespark Road.
On the right/south side the lands are bordered by A96, Sandown Road, Rear of properties on Wyvis Road & Moss-side Road.
The allotment gardens together with a parcel of land for extension of the gardens will be excluded from the proposal."
You can download a copy of the document here.
Meanwhile a few opionions already emerging from the community over on the Nairn our Town, our views Facebook page.
Couldn't the council install basic access and services infrastructure then sell off individual plots to allow people to build the kind of houses they want; be they eco, economy or ostentatious, rather than a developer running a CAD exercise to shoehorn in as many identikit rabbit hutches as possible.
They could take into account needs for sustainable energy generation and usage (communal heating systems?), sustainable travel (electric vehicle charging), re-cycling etc
Maybe end up with something along the lines of the Field of Dreams at Findhorn Ecovillage which is still one of the best areas of new development I have seen.... https://www.ecovillagefindhorn.com/
I think that you're right Dreamer, lots of alternative options.
However, the commercial reality is that a big developer is more likely to pay a premium price. That in turn will bring in more cash for the Common Good Fund - and therefore more cash for locally desired initiatives.
If only the local Council, back in the day when we had a local Council had developed Sandown as Nairn's Industrial Estate (instead of at Balmakeith) with lease income from local businesses going into the Common Good Fund, whilst we retained the ground for future generations.
It'll come down to a Head versus Heart decsion I think.
There will be a few folk who only want detached villas, with little or no social housing that single folk and families desperately need.
It would be interesting to run figures of selling individual plots v potential developer price to see if that would be the case. Then factor in the value to the 'common good' of the town of creating an environment designed for people rather than profit. I suspect that the 'common good' as well as the Common Good Fund may come out in credit.
Alternatively, could part of the area be planned as a business park to bring jobs into the town. Nairn has been denuded of nearly all council/government services with none of the centralised jobs from the council/UHI/NHS getting located to Nairn. Other areas of the Highlands seem to get a share of these departments, Nairn's share of these benefits appears to be in line with it's share of Covid funding! For private companies too, there is nowhere desirable to locate a modern admin/technology/IT operation. They are designing space rockets in Forres ffs! https://orbex.space/contact
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