Nairn River Community Council Lockdown update and March 10th Minutes

We hope that everyone is staying safe at home and keeping well in these strange times.
Since 23rd March  Nairn River Community Council has been in lockdown, but members have remained active working from home and continue to serve the local community.

Our members have had a steep ‘learning curve’ mastering online meetings using the Cisco Webex platform, and trying out Google voting to make decisions by email .
With public meetings cancelled, our members agreed to donate  £125 from our operational grant (usually spent on  room hire, and press adverts), to the newly formed Nairn Task Force to fund ID badges for  community volunteers helping vulnerable local households with shopping and deliveries.
For more information on this see our  Community Information page on this website
Community Councillors have continued in lockdown to respond by phone and email to individual residents\’ concerns and questions and we have kept a close eye on Planning matters.
After a \’practice run\’ on 7 April  – we held our first online meeting on 14th April with  8 of our 12 members present, plus 4 members of West and Suburban CC
At that meeting we approved the minutes of our last Public Meeting
Members agreed to write to Highland Council to ask that decisions on two controversial local Planning Applications,  for a new CAB and flats in King Street on the site of the old Community Centre, and for FIT housing at Cawdor Road, be deferred during lockdown along with progress of the Local Development Plan, until we have the chance to  assess the long term impact of this health crisis on our local community and economy.
Community Councils had already been notified by  Highland Council since lockdown that the
consultation on proposed Car Parking Charges for Nairn is now on hold.
We also agreed to  submit a new objection as Statutory Consultee to the revised FIT Housing Application – to support objections from Environmental Health and Gordon\’s Sawmill lodged since our last meeting 10th March, which indicate that  noise mitigation measures proposed by the developer were not going to be adequate to protect residents.
Since the 14th April meeting,  at very short notice, members also agreed a further letter to Highland Council to be sent jointly with West and Suburban CC on 27th April, objecting to proposed changes to the Planning process by Highland Council Planners.
These changes, notified to us on 23rd April for immediate effect on 28th April, would allow Planning Applications to be approved behind closed doors by only two people , the Planning Committee Chair and the relevant Planning Officer,  bypassing scrutiny of the full planning committee.
Many Councillors  raised objections  to this, as well as the 2 Nairn Community Councils.
Our current understanding is that decisions on the following Planning Applications are now deferred until a full meeting of South Planning Applications Committee can be held.
1/ 20/00338/FUL A new CAB and flats on the footprint of the old Community Centre on King Street  with  proposed  demolition of adjacent Old Social Work Building/former Police Station,  and
2/ 20/00493/FUL the  FIT Homes development at Cawdor Road proposed by Albyn Housing
 ( follow Planning website links above for further information including NRCC objections)
Our next meeting will be held online on 12th May at 7.30 when we invite the public to join us
Watch this space and the Nairnshire Telegraph for details of future meetings
We have now created a new Community Information page on this website to keep you updated during current lockdown and beyond-  this will signpost you to local sources of support and information
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