Nairn River CC is holding an additional special meeting on Wednesday 29th September to discuss proposed new governance structures for Nairn and Nairnshire .
The proposed structure for a new Nairn Economic Development Forum to operate in parallel with a new more collaborative, community focussed and outcome driven Nairn and Nairnshire Community Planning Partnership, appears to include proposed disposal of Common Good land at Sandown which belongs to the people of Nairn, which is a matter for the community to decide upon, rather than commercial interests.
Sandown land is an inalienable Nairn Common Good Asset which would require approval from the Sheriff Court for any disposal or change of use. It has recently been the subject of a statutory public consultation ( under the Community Empowerment Act 2015) with 85 out of 98 public responses returning an overwhelming No from the Nairn community to proposed sale of this land at this time.
Having reviewed this response Highland Council has decided to continue consulting for another 12 weeks, stating it wishes to widen the reach of the consultation, and to clarify any public ‘confusion’ about what is proposed.
We have been told by Highland Council elected members and officers, that there are ‘no developers in the wings’ .
However a look at the recently consulted Main Issues Report for the new edition of the Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan shows ‘ Sandown Lands’ identified as the only ‘preferred site’ in the whole Nairn area earmarked for intensive housing development.
We have discovered through a Freedom of Information request from Nairnshire Ward Business Meeting minutes ( not normally made publicly available) that Nairn BID, a local business support organisation, not elected by the public, have agreed to play a leading role in a new ‘Nairn Economic Development Forum’ which along with tourism marketing and business network activity , will also comprise a ‘Town Centre Working Group’ and Nairn Jobs Network ( a community led network established during lockdown by local volunteers) )
Nairn BID may well be in the loop with this, but elected Community Councils and other community bodies have received no briefing information from Highland Council, apart from the outline structure tabled at the Nairn and Nairnshire Community Planning Partnership for consideration. The current proposed new structures are below included an outline for Nairn Economic Development Forum and we will refer to these at our Special meeting on 29th September.