Monday, January 31, 2022

Community Councils criticise Sandown Lands sale consultation in letter " We think it is defective, lacking in credibility, and fundamentally flawed. "

A joint letter signed by the town's two community councils has been sent to the Highland Council's Executive Chief Officer for Nairn with copies to MSPs etc. Those who have been following this issue may wish to make a cuppa or pour a dram and read a copy of this letter which is available online here. The Highland Council's second Sandown sale consultation finishes today. 

Saturday, January 29, 2022

88 mph gust of wind recorded in Nairn last night

Thursday, January 27, 2022

If you happen to have a few pounds spare this week - please support this very worthy fund-raising initiative by Donald Graham and Ian Finlayson


Monday, January 24, 2022

Just one week left to participate in the second Sandown Sale consultation - Deadline for Comments 31st of January

 The consultation is controversial to say the least but if you have strong feelings either way about Highland Council wishing to sell the Common Good Sandown Lands then you have a week left to submit your comments. Details of the background and a link to the consultation itself are available on the Nairn West and Suburban CC website here. 

Monday, January 17, 2022

Breaking - Michael Green to put his hat in the ring for the Highland Council elections on Thursday May 5th.

Michael Green (right) speaking to then MSP Andy Wightman outside the Scottish Parliament in May 2017 when quite a few local folk made the trek down to Holyrood to lobby against ship-to-ship oil transfers in the Moray Firth.

The Gurn understands Michael will be standing.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Dangerous rootplate of fallen tree in Tradespark wood close to A96?

 One of our regular readers, a trained aborist, has contacted one of our Highland  councillors about this rootplate in the Tradespark wood next to the A96 which he feels could be dangerous to children. He tells us that the rootplate is safer totally detached from the tree. 

FOI request has indicated that charges for grass cutting of Common Good spaces in Nairn in 2020/21 totalled £40,855. "It is understood no other Common Good Funds in the Highlands have been charged for similar services"."

"A Freedom of Information request to Highland Council has indicated that charges for grass cutting of Common Good spaces in Nairn in 2020/21 totalled £40,855."
"It is understood no other Common Good Funds in the Highlands have been charged for similar services."
More here in this excellent Courier article by Donald Wilson. Please buy the Nairnshire edition of the Courier every week folks - we need this type of journalism to continue!

Friday, January 14, 2022

Nairn Play get 5K boost from Lovat Lodge Group

 Nairn' Plays ongoing efforts to bring new equipment to the Riverside play area have receveived a significant boost of 5K from the Lovat Lodge fund. 

Thursday, January 13, 2022

520 houses at South Nairn - Highland Council response to screening application doesn't look encouraging for the developer

The South Nairn latest information (from October) seems to have passed a lot of folk by so here is what is to be found on the Highland Council website.

A Highland Council response to the screening application reads:

"Screening Opinion It is considered that Environmental Impact Assessment IS required for the development described in the letter and information accompanying your screening request."

 The document goes on to say: " The rationale behind this screening opinion is as follows: 

 1. The proposal does not constitute Schedule 1 development under the 2017 Regulations; but 2. The proposal does fall within the definition of 'Schedule 

2 development' (Regulation 2 - Interpretation), in that the proposal is an urban development project (Schedule 2 (10)(b) where the area of the site exceeds 0.5ha) and, having screened it against the selection criteria outlined in Schedule 3 (including size and design of the development, cumulative impact, pollution, risk of major accidents, impact on natural resources/the natural environment and environmental quality), the potential impact on the receiving environment is considered to be significant"

Potential Significant Effects on the Receiving Environment

 • Other Characteristics: traffic impacts (during construction and operation of the development), by virtue of the scale of the development, its location and its cumulative impact in association with other built development in the locality, notably on the local road network at the railway line underpass on the B9090 linking with A96 and the town centre. Whilst a pedestrian / cycle rail line overbridge is proposed to link with Nairn Academy Secondary School, this is unlikely to serve the needs of primary school aged children with the site falling within the Millbank Primacy School catchment. The proposed bridge would also not be on the desire line for waking or cycling to and from the town centre, with the development likely to result in increased footfall through the underpass which serves adjacent industrial land uses. Deficiencies in the transport network are also highlighted in the site’s allocation (IN8: Nairn South) within the adopted Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan;

 • Pollution: noise and air quality impacts (during occupation of the development) associated with established and allocated industrial land uses, notably the adjacent sawmill; and 

• Other: TBC through EIA Scoping

 Next Steps: Scoping Opinion You are required to prepare an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA Report) and submit this alongside any future planning application. We are unable to approve a planning application for EIA development where an EIA Report has not been submitted.

 Guidance on what should be included within an EIAR can be found in Schedule 4 of the 2017 Regulations and will be informed through any requested EIA Scoping Response."

 The full document can be seen on the Highland Council e-planning pages here:  

The Railway Bridge - still a major factor against any development at South Nairn


The case for delivery of the A96 dualling has again been reinforced with the tragic event yesterday at Auldearn says former Council transport officer

 Richard Gerring told the Gurn:

"I am saddened to hear about the death of a 78 year old male involved in a RTC at Auldearn. My thoughts are with his family and friends.

Attached is an extract from Crash Map UK showing the RTC cluster at the Auldearn junction over the last 22 years. Unfortunately there is a persistent pattern of collisions and casualties.

The case for delivery of the A96 dualling has again been reinforced with the tragic event yesterday.

Road safety is identified as a key priority in the published National Transport Strategy. So the delivery of the Inverness to Nairn dualling project is now even more essential to avoid casualties on the existing trunk road."
A screenshot showing the crash cluster at the junction (click to enlarge)

The BBC site reports: "Police Scotland has appealed for information about the crash, particularly from those who may have seen either vehicle beforehand.

Sgt Ewan Calder said: "At this time, our thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased, following their tragic loss.

"As we continue our inquiries, we'd ask anyone with information or any potential dashcam footage to please come forward." " More here.

Postponement of Nairn Literary Institute Talks - January to March 2022

A message to members states:

"Very reluctantly we have decided, given the current situation with the new Covid infection rate, that we should postpone the remaining five lectures of the 2021 / 2022 Season. Some of our speakers have expressed reservations about attending in-person meetings and we must respect their concerns.

Following discussions, we feel that the best course of action will be to postpone the lectures planned for January to March, and incorporate them into the next season beginning in October. The speakers have all indicated their willingness to re-schedule, so we will still be able to hear and enjoy their knowledge and enthusiasm for their respective subjects. We did consider extending the season into the Spring / early Summer, but quite honestly, the uncertainty of the situation would have made the administration of notifying the membership of postponement or cancellation of lectures at short notice cumbersome and difficult."

Grant Street workshop disposal constitution - comment with a sting in the tail from former chair of Nairn West and Suburban Community Council

Sheena told the Gurn:"“ I would like to see that the land/building is advertised for lease or sale and that the Trustees of the Common Good (preferably the new ones after May’s election) decide what would be most financially beneficial to the Nairn Common Good fund in the long run”.

Sheena clearly indicating that she would like to see new councillors representing Nairn on Highland Council. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Nairn West and Suburban Community Council object to Camper Van Waste Disposal site on the Maggot but want it at Harbour Street toilets - and also want those toilets opened again

From the NWSCC objection document:

"Conclusion and recommendation
We strongly support policy and actions aimed at improving the facilities for motorhome visitors. But we are convinced that this requires joined-up thinking and planning, not a one-off proposal. To sum up: installing a chemical waste disposal point at the Maggot and designating motorhome spaces there has no legal basis, no practical justification, is short-sighted planning, could have adverse environmental impacts and would not be cost-effective. It is the wrong project, in the wrong place. For these reasons, as outlined above, NW&SCC strongly objects to the planning application.Our objection is reinforced by our view that there is a more sensible alternative which would be better value, more practical, and would serve a wider user-base. We believe that the more positive and appropriate option would be to modify, upgrade and enhance the existing toilet block adjacent to the harbour to include a chemical waste disposal unit. We therefore recommend that the present application be withdrawn and this alternative be rapidly and positively pursued instead"

Nairn River Community Council meeting 19th January 7.30 pm Agenda


Comhairle Coimhearsnachd Abhainn Narann

A public meeting of the Nairn River Community Council

will be held online via Zoom on

Wednesday, 19th January 2022 7:30 PM



1. Members Present, Apologies and Declarations of Interest.

2. Minutes of previous meetings.

3. Treasurers Report.

4. Matters Arising

5. Planning Update – Electric Battery site at Househill

6. Nairn East

7. Any update from THC Members that may be present.

Local Area Committee / Recent Ward business meeting. TH PS LM LF

8. Any other competent business:

Community Engagement & Consultations

A96 Bypass NRCC

Car Parking Charges - Common Good Land NRCC

New Nairn Academy paper for NRCC

Place Based Investment NRCC

RCGF 2022-23 NRCC

Relocation of public Library NRCC

Consultation on proposal to dispose, by sale, of Grant Street Yard and Store

21/04763/Screening application for residential-led, mixed use development of circa 520 dwellings Nairn South

Call for Co-opted Members

Place based Investment fund

9. Chair closes meeting


embers of the Public wishing to attend the NRCC Meeting should send an email to: including their name and postcode.

The invitations will be sent close to the meeting date.

NRCC will not admit anonymous or people identifying with something other than their own name to any meeting.

Due to impending updates this Agenda is liable to change at the Chairs discretion in accordance to the SofE rules

Council to consult on Common Good land in respect of proposals to dispose of Grant Street workshop - lively debate on local social media on the topic

The following Highland Council press release has caused a fair bit of comment on the popular Nairn Rocks Social Media Group - you can read that comment here if you are a member of that group.

The Highland Council has, on 11 January 2022, launched a Common Good consultation giving the Nairn community until 10 March 2022 to respond to a proposal to dispose, by sale, of Grant Street workshop and yard, 3 Grant Street, Nairn which is located on Common Good land.

Councillor Tom Heggie, Chair of the Nairnshire Area Committee, said: “The workshop and yard has been vacant for a significant period of time and is in a dilapidated and overgrown state. We recognise that the prospects for leasing in its current condition are limited. Furthermore, demolishing or renovating would incur costs for Nairn Common Good and would be unlikely to result in much by way of increased rental potential. In recognition of these factors, it is being proposed that disposing by sale would be the most beneficial option for Nairn Common Good fund.”

The Council is keen to hear the community’s views on the proposal and all submissions will be given full regard before a decision on whether, and how, to proceed is made.
The full consultation document is available at:

In terms of the process, please refer to the guidance available at:

Please submit written responses either by email to or by post to Sara Murdoch, The Highland Council HQ, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness, IV3 5NX.

Consultation representations, responses and any final decision will be published on the Council website.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Sandown sale consultation - composition of Consultation Reference Group assisting Highland Council and minutes of meeting

 The Gurn has received information from Highland Council re the composition of the consultation reference group and the minutes of the meeting held on the 28th of October 2021. Also agendas for the 28th of October and 26th of November but no minutes for the meeting on 26th November. 

All those serious students of these matters may wish to read copies of these documents below. 

Meeting Agenda 28th of October 2021

Minutes of meeting 28th of October

Meeting Agenda 26th November 2021

Ariane Burgess MSP urges young people in the Highlands to apply for free bus card

“I’m delighted this Green policy has gone from the drawing board to reality and despite the difficulties of Covid, essential travellers such as key workers should feel the benefit from day one.” 


* Children under the age of 5 do not need to apply as they already travel for free on commercial bus services without a card. 

Friday, January 07, 2022

Campervan waste disposal planning application for the Maggot - an objection: "In short the waste disposal site should not be located at the jewel destination - any Nairn beach car park"

One of our regular readers, Richard Geering, has sent us a copy of his objection to the proposed Campervan Waste Disposal application for a site by the Maggot car park.

"I raise objection on the following grounds:


The proposed site is adjacent to the River Nairn, Nairn Harbour and approximately 500m from two wonderful 'blue flag' beaches (Central and East). The location put forward in the application is beside an existing Caravan Park business where there is a restaurant and an indoor swimming pool, as well as many other facilities for visitors to the area.

The Placemaking Priorities identified in a recent report to the Nairnshire Committee includes the following relevant priorities:

Further regenerate and enhance the harbour as a leisure and tourist destination and create better connections with the town centre.
Concerted effort to maintain, and improve wherever possible, the water quality of the beaches in Nairn
An area vulnerable to flooding in Nairn has been identified by SEPA and it is recognised that sea levels are rising. Installing a permanent waste disposal facility for controlled waste that is potentially going to be inundated by flooding needs to be avoided in line with a robust precautionary approach.


Scottish Water make it very clear in their guidance that it is best to consider sites that are within the area served by the public sewer network, but some distance from the local Waste Water Treatment Works. Without sufficient dilution, some of the chemicals present in black water can harm good bacteria that form part of the treatment process. Scottish Water states if the site is close to the WWTW, the black water might not be diluted enough when it reaches the works. This could affect the ability of the WWTW to treat waste water to the required standard before effluent is returned to rivers or the sea.

The location of the proposed campervan waste disposal hut, and associated works, is very close to the WWTW and therefore adequate dilution will not be ensured for the required effluent standard from the WWTW."

A telly debut for Ritchie

" Ritchie, a retired headmaster from the Highlands who wants to get his sweet tooth under control.

Will 12 weeks be enough time to turn their lifestyles around and get the results they want? And will they really be able to keep their efforts undercover until the time comes to step out of their secret suits and show off their new bodies to an audience of loved ones?"  

All on the telly on the 11th of January.

Some lovely pictures of Tilda on Nairn beach in a Guardian article

More here on the Guardian site.

Thursday, January 06, 2022

Sandown Common Good sale consulation and other Common Good issues - Emma Roddick MSP has been in touch with the Scottish Government after representations from constituents and Community Councils

A spokesperson from the MSP's office told the Gurn: "Emma has been in touch with the Scottish Government about this after representations from constituents and community councils, who view the current system where management and governance of these assets is vested in the relevant council members as "custodians" on behalf of the beneficiaries creates a conflict of interest between a councillor's duty to the wider population of the council, and their duty to the beneficiaries of the Common Good. They believe this conflict could be ameliorated by formalising and enforcing the practice of councillors taking advice from representatives of the beneficiaries, except in exceptional situations, such as those where fraud or negligence is suspected. These representatives would normally be local community councils due to their status as official and regularly elected bodies for making known the wishes of local residents to local councils.

Emma has asked for details on any changes the Scottish Government plan to introduce to the management of Common Good lands."

Community groups and organisations invited to apply for Place Based Investment Programme support - £78,728 allocated for Nairnshire - The deadline for applications is 9 am on the 31 January 2022.

 From the Highland Council website:

" Seven of the Council’s Area Committees are now inviting applications under the first round of the Place-Based Investment programme. Community groups and local organisations are being encouraged to apply and make sure they don’t miss the various January 2022 deadlines.

The Scottish Government has allocated £1,963,000 of ring-fenced Place Based Investment Programme funding for the current financial year.  

The Programme seeks to support capital projects which deliver on place policy ambitions such as town centre revitalisation, community led regeneration, 20-minute neighbourhoods and Community Wealth Building, and are shaped by the needs and aspirations of local communities."

 More details here on the Highland Council website.  

There is also further guidance, application forms etc on this webpage

Monday, January 03, 2022

Here at the Gurn we are sad to report the recent passing of Graham Marsden

Graham's daughter Sarah-Jane Marsden tells the Gurn: "Graham, our father, passed away on December 31st at around 3.45pm, after an acute stroke on December 27th. Dad had been unconscious for two days when he finally passed, it was very peaceful and Dad was in absolutely no pain."

Funeral arangements are to follow. Pictures below from Graham's family.