The chairman of the Nairn Community Improvement Enterprise (NICE) has renewed calls for a local plan to guide future development in the town which he says has not gotten its ‘fair share’ from Highland Council, central government, and NHS funding.
Dr Alastair Noble, who is also chairman of the Nairn West & Suburban Community Council, was speaking at NICE’s annual general meeting, citing the need for investment in infrastructure, a bypass and the town centre.
“We are therefore the body within Nairnshire to drive forward Local Place Planning (LPP). We will achieve this by working with community councils, local businesses, all local people and facilitating the involvement of Highland Council, Highland & Islands Enterprise, Scottish Government and NHS Highland.
“A Local Place Plan is exactly that – it should be led by local people,” said.
Dr Noble said there had been many meetings and discussions about Nairn’s future vision.
“There are some very clear and easy to understand messages which I think will resonate with everyone in Nairnshire.
“The first big message is ‘Infrastructure First’ – no more sprawling property developments on our beautiful surrounding green fields until we sort
our critical infrastructure.
“We need a bypass and if the money isn’t there to overtake the A96 we still need a bypass. The responsibility lies with the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland.”
On sewage issues, Dr Noble said: “We need to upgrade our Victorian sewage system and stop polluting the River Nairn and our beaches. The responsibility lies with Scottish Water and SEPA.”
Nairn’s Fishertown, he said, was the “most risky” part of the SEPA zone covering Highland and Moray Flood risk-Fishertown is the most risky part of the SEPA zone covering Highland and Moray and it stressed that the new Nairn Academy was key to replacing the existing condemned building with high quality new construction
“We have too many empty or underused properties in the city center – the responsibility lies with Highland Council and private
area to bring all of these properties back into service. »
Dr Noble said all investment needs in Nairn come at a price.
“A reasonable estimate is between £5m and £600m. This money obviously comes from different budgets and includes private sector investment.”
He added | : “We need to address the idea of fair weighted capitation budgets. All the data and information I have seen confirms that Nairnshire is consistently underfunded. The biggest gap is in the integrated health and social care budget , probably millions of pounds but it exists in all other budgets – education, leisure and recreation etc.”