A note on Nairn’s Common Good Assets ‘for the benefit of the citizens of the burgh’
Nairn’s Common Good Assets are lands and property given to the town in the past with an obligation that they be ‘managed for the benefit of the citizens of the burgh of Nairn’ .
Nairn Common Good land includes some of the town’s finest assets and green spaces, the Links, the Harbour and the Maggot area as well as the Riverside, Viewfield and Sandown lands and historic buildings such as Viewfield House and the Laing Hall. Sandown Land is the subject of a current proposal to ‘dispose by sale’ by Highland Council (more below)
Nairn has one of the largest Common Good portfolios in Highland but since most is land, annual revenue from rents and business lettings is expected to be only around £134,000 in 2021/22 budget projection compared to £2.2 million to be generated by Inverness City Common Good Fund assets which include the Longman Industrial Estate, the Victorian Market and Inverness Town House.
You can find more information on Common Good here on the Scottish Land Commission website, and more on local authority duties in relation to Common Good property under the Community Empowerment Act 2015 here
Section 104 ‘requires the local authority to consult with the local community when it is planning to dispose of common good property, or change its use. The local authority must publish details of the proposed disposal or change of use of common good property, and notify and invite representations from community councils and community bodies.’
It is also a legal requirement under the 2015 Community Empowerment Act, for local authorities in Scotland to publish a list of the land and property they are entrusted to look after for the benefit of local people.
You can find Nairn’s Common Good Asset Register on Highland Council’s website. This is a ‘live document’ which continues to be updated based on local historical research.
To help inform what happens next re parking charges on Nairn seafront, and currently proposed disposal by sale of Sandown Common Good lands( more below), we need to hear what you think as a local citizen because these assets were given to the town for your benefit. You can post comments on our blog, email us, or talk directly to your community councillor or your Highland Councillor.
The Sandown Lands -Highland Council consultation on disposal –the Nairn public says NO.
A consultation took place in Spring 2021 on the proposed sale by Highland Council of one of Nairn’s largest Common Good assets’ Sandown Lands to the west of the town.
A summary of public responses can be found here which includes submissions from Nairn River CC, Nairn West and Suburban CC.
98 responses were received from local residents and community groups.
85 contributors lodged objections against the proposed ‘disposal’
10 people submitted points both for and against
only 3 comments were entirely in support
A decision on this is expected in September 2021 by the Nairnshire Area Committee of Highland Council which comprises Nairn’s 4 elected Highland Councillors
If Nairn’s local Councillors make a recommendation to dispose of this land it will be tabled for approval by the full Highland Council as Common Good Trustees for Nairn.
If approved an application would be made to the Sheriff Court for sale of ‘inalienable’ land.
Nairn River CC hopes that our 4 local Councillors will do their duty as Nairn Common Good Trustees and reject this proposal at the September Nairnshire Area Committee, since the recent consultation shows that the balance of local community opinion is overwhelmingly against sale of this asset at this time.