Local Development Plan

The INNER MORAY FIRTH DEVELOPMENT PLAN is here for you to comment on online.

Please have your say on the future of Nairn.

Highland Council is currently consulting on a new Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan ( IMFLDP) till 17th June.

Nairn residents can comment in two ways

1/ Using the Highland Council consultation portal or

2/Using Nairn community councils user friendly comments template which summarises key site allocations for Nairn . You can return this to imfldp@highland.gov.uk or by post to Highland Council to the following address:

Development Plan Team

IMFLDP2 – Consultation Comments

Highland Council, Council Headquarters, Glenurquhart Road, INVERNESS, IV3 5NX

Community Councils will also make the above ‘comments template’ available in hard copy in public places – please contact info.nrivercc@gmail.com or 07895035015 to request a copy or help to complete it.


Once approved by Highland Council this Local Development Plan will determine how Nairn and Nairnshire will develop and grow over the next 10 – 20 years.

The new IMFLDP lays out development priorities and ‘allocated sites’ for 32 Highland ‘settlements’ around the Moray Firth and Black Isle, including Nairn, and Auldearn.

It also lists 14 different policies (including Low Carbon Development, Nature Protection, Waste Water Infrastructure Impacts and Sustainable Tourism), which underpin this Plan, but many have not yet been developed sufficiently by Highland Council for the public to understand how they are to be implemented at local level through this Plan.

Nairn Community Councils have produced a ‘user friendly’ comments template which you can download here to use as an alternative to the online consultation portal. It summarises key ‘site allocations’ in Nairn to help focus your comments. We will also make it available in hard copy in public places like the community centre, library and local shops.

We post also below guidance on how Nairn residents can respond to the plan from Scott Dalgarno, Highland Council’s Local Development Plans manager, who was at the recent meeting hosted on 17 May 2022 by Nairn’s local Community Councils at the Newton Hotel with over 100 local residents in attendance.

At that public meeting many local views and questions were shared with senior Highland Council officials Malcolm Macleod(Development Planning) and Kate Lackie ( Acting Depute to Chief Executive of Highland Council and Executive Chief Officer for Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey) on Inner Moray Firth local Development Plan proposals for the Nairn area and allocated sites for development such as East Nairn, Sandown, and the Farmers’ Field.

A wide range of opinions were shared, with many local people communicating strongly that after 2 decades of intensive ‘developer led’ development at Lochloy, Nairn urgently needs investment in ‘infrastructure first’.

Until pressing traffic congestion issues are addressed by a new A96 Bypass, and water supply, sewerage capacity and flood risk challenges are tackled, with increased school, healthcare and transport capacity to match housing growth (which did not happen as planned at Lochloy), Nairn cannot cope with any more major development.

Local business representatives also asked that economic expansion must be catered for alongside housing need, with more industrial capacity needed to create local jobs and reduce commuting.

Since the Newton public meeting many locals attending have contacted community councillors to say how difficult they are finding it to access this complex Development Plan and comment on it online.


Below is guidance we have received from Highland Council’s Development Plans Team on how to navigate the online Plan on the Council consultation portal and submit comments.

Advice for those with access to and use of a computer

Advice for those still having difficulty making comments via the “portal”

  • The Council will, as a fall-back option, allow emailed comments to the Plan’s generic mailbox imfldp@highland.gov.uk
  • This option is less efficient for the respondent and Council – for example the respondent won’t automatically get sent a copy of what they submitted or be automatically entered into the mailing data base for updates about the Plan process
  • The text of the response and any supporting documentary evidence should be in a format that can be copied and pasted e.g. a Word file not a PDF

Advice for residents who have no access to the internet

  • Residents can telephone Douglas Chisholm on (01463) 702266 or Tim Stott on (01463) 702276 to discuss the Plan’s content relevant to where they live
  • After an initial telephone discussion a paper copy extract of the relevant Plan material can be sent to the enquirer via conventional post together with a paper copy comments form (attached) for the resident to fill in and return by post
  • This method is less efficient for both the respondent and Council
  • Community councils may act as a conduit for residents who have no access online but attend your local meetings ( Nairn Community Councils comments template will also be made available in hard copy in public places – please contact info.nrivercc@gmail.com or 07895035015 to request a copy or help to complete it.

The Plan is available for public comment any time up to 12 noon on Friday 17 June 2022. 

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