A lot of people will have made submissions to Highland Council's consultation on that organisation's wish to sell the Sandown Common Good Land to a developer. There were calls at Monday night's Nairn West and Suburban Community Council meeting for all the submissions to be published.
Cllr Tom Heggie said that the responses were being collated and there had been a significant number. He went on to say that there were a number of consultations in Highland at the moment but the Sandown consultation was now a priority.
Brian Stewart urged that, like planning applications, all responses whether for, against or neutral, should be published in full online in the interests of transparency and because the future of Sandown was vitally important to the community.
Joan Noble said: “The Scottish Government guidance on the consultation over Common Good, their interpretation of the law is that all responses must be published in full as part of an openness so that everybody can see them, this is on the website. It isn't really an option for Highland Council
Tom Heggie said that there was "an agreed process" and that the CC should pursue the matter with the relevant HC official.
Following the meeting Joan Noble circulated an e-mail containing the precise Scottish Government information. Tom Heggie was quick to replay and a copy was also sent to the Gurn. Tom Heggie wrote that he had had a discussion with the official concerned and “I see no conflict between HC arrangements and national guidance.”
The Gurn understands that Tom has been asked for further clarification on that.
Full publication be the right thing for Highland Council to do and then there could be no doubt about the feelings of the community. A summary of points for and against will not do here, there has to be complete transparency over the nature and volume of community feeling over what should happen to Sandown.