Nairn River Community Council

Comhairle Coimhearsnachd Abhainn Narann

Minutes of the meeting held on 21st Nov 2018 at the Nairn Community and Arts Centre





Members Present:

Tommy Hogg, Mandy Lawson , Hamish Bain , Veronica Mackinnon, Iain Henderson, Iain Bruce, Steven Bain , Simon Noble , Paul McIvor

Cllr Heggie, Cllr Saggers, Cllr Fraser

Apologies  John Hume


Declarations of interest

No interests were declared


Minutes of last meeting 19 Sept 18 and Matters Arising

Hamish Bain proposed the minute and Iain Bruce seconded


Treasurer's Report

Presented online by Veronica Mackinnon

£ 7737 in current account

Revised bank signatories confirmed as

Tommy Hogg( Chair) , Veronica Mackinnon( Treasurer) and Steven Bain (former Treasurer)


Action since last meeting (Sept) including correspondence

Community Planning - 24 Sept quarterly  meeting -in Auldearn. Tommy Hogg attended for NRCC as observer, Lorraine Mallinson took the single CC seat at table  as Roger Milton of Auldearn CC not in attendance..

NNCP Employment and Skills partnership group  October (ML )wide ranging membership - looking at jobs in different sectors -feed back into NNCP

Paper re Morganti site community buy out now drafted for NICE- If Community Land Bid is possible to to buy site  for town and funding found it  may be suitable for a community learning/wellbeing hub  for East Nairn. More in New Year once NICE has explored options with Morganti Trust trustees

NRCC office bearers  attended WSCC meeting in Sept 

Links Consultation event Sat 3 Nov ( with consultation Nick Wright) Office bearers attended and met with consultant. A  follow up  public event to be held 1 Dec to present priorities and explore ways forward to fund and implement the project. Any proposals will go to the Nairnshire local Committee

 Correspondence ( since September)

Joint Letter sent with WSCC to Highland Council  proposing charitable status for Nairn Common Good  with independent governance by local trustees.  New structure would  avoid conflict of interest for Nairn Councillors 

Joint CC letter sent to Cllr Saggers re Parking Charges proposed for Nairn with list of questions to clarify HC plans and business case.  

Joint Letter from 2 Nairn CCs  sent to HC Auditors querying past  missing  developer contributions for Lochloy and  requesting clarification on DC’s for  housing already approved at Kingsteps

Joint Letter sent to HC by 2 Nairn CCs re status of Sandown lands 'survey' for potential housing development

Highland Council new  parking policy  received and shared.

Update on Parking Charges

Cllr Heggie reported that  a recent private  meeting was held with Nairn  BID  members  and officers  and promised  a written response to CC questions in due course ( no answers yet)

Simon Noble asked if   local targets for parking revenue would be set centrally by Highland or does Nairnshire Committee have a say?

Cllr Saggers said that each  parking bay in Highland costs around £2100 to maintain -this money needs to be found somewhere.  He is collecting cost information from Shane Manning of HC.  He suggested ‘options’ the public might be offered such as periods of  free parking, seasonal parking charges. This assumes that charges are coming, an assumption  not accepted in the room.

Loreine Thomson  asked about what input communities will have in approving any parking proposals. What happens if we reject them?  What is the process?

The Secretary and Iain Bruce  repeated  the  need for answers to our questions, to understand  proposals HC puts forward.

Cllr Heggie said he would be discussing the matter soon. He also  said that the 18/19 budget process will be better managed and  not as last minute as last year  

 Councillors confirmed that the originally proposed £ 30, 000 revenue target figure for Nairn parking charges has now been dropped as a ‘mistake’ by Highland Council along with  proposals to charge for parking on  Nairn Common Good land

This leaves only one location from four proposed in March 18  

Councillors present were reminded of  universal local opposition to parking charges in Nairn voiced at a public meeting in Feb 2018 before the HC budget vote and that this  is still the local position from Nairn business and community representatives.. At that time all 4 Nairn Cllrs were asked not to support the vote and 3 still did so against wishes of their constituents. 

Simon Noble - noted  that those implementing the new Highland  Parking  policy need to overcome  real fear in local communities that HC is trying to pass on overheads to local areas while keeping local revenue. Cllr Saggers reassured that funds raised in Nairn would be spent on Nairn

Simon Noble also noted that he had not seen the joint CC letter questioning our Councillors  re parking charges before it went out -as it was prepared and shared by officer bearers of the 2 CCs since our meeting in September . He felt that this was not democratic. He confirmed that he had  now seen the letter and did not object to its content. The Secretary noted that he could add additional questions if he wished to

Brian Stewart  noted that it was part of CC office bearers’ responsibility to represent and act for CC’s between meetings.  Individual members are free to  differ from a majority view  or if dissatisfied with proceedings  can raise a motion  of no confidence in office bearers and put to a members vote.  Beyond that the  decision of the Chair prevails in urgent situations requiring action  as per the constitution and these decisions can be  noted and ratified at a later meeting 

Action  Nairn Cllrs to respond to  CC questions re Parking Charges.

Clear information needed before public engagement (business case, projected revenue, legal status of land,cost of policing, set up and running  costs)


Planning Applications

  • Planning -requests for  consultee status re MacDonalds drive through   signage
  • Visuals of proposed signs were viewed
  • Light pollution - agreed by majority of members present  that we should ask for lighting of signs to be switched off during night time hours when MacDonalds and Sainsbury’s close (10.30 pm)

HB to draft planning response re restricted lighting of signage , for ML to send to E Planning



  1. Developer Contributions Supplementary Guidance

Highland Council 2018 DCSG  

2018 guidance now adopted by Highland Council  includes increased contributions, but 'landowner' is liable , not developer.

Loreine Thomson noted supplementary answers received from Highland Council FOI  re the ‘lost’ school land at Lochloy. HC confirm that the decision not to safeguard school land( valued at 1.3 Million)  was taken for revision of Masterplan (approved at May13 SPAC) ) and covered by 2013 Developer Contribution guidance. At that time Nairn schools were not expected to exceed capacity, but hundreds more homes have since been approved.  The FOI request asked about  additional homes built by Springfield  on former ‘school land’  resulting in an uplift in land value, yet no developer contributions are recorded  for this.  Highland has responded that any 'uplift' in land value does not normally make a case for compensation to community.

Secretary noted day to day  impacts  emerging for some families  of  no school at Lochloy with an active  petition for a direct bus  from to Millbank/Rosebank primaries- Cllr Heggie is   looking into this. 


 Nairn Common Good Fund/Assets  

Nairn Common Good Asset Register is still not published. Cllrs Heggie and Saggers will  chase up -they  understand there are  still 2 outstanding legal issues delaying publication across Highland.

A member of public asked why Nairn’s CG Register should be delayed when it is Highland’s second largest fund and when key  CG assets are under  active discussion re their future use for the town.  

Re Links Development, Loreine Thomson has questioned Nairn’s Ward Manager how the Links Development was to be resourced. Danger was noted  of  consultations raising public expectations if there was no budget to take ideas forward.

This has happened before with the Town Centre Charrette and Plan.

Were HC plans dependent on Team Hamish funding?

Does  Highland have other funds in mind for this?

Cllr Fraser ( a CGF trustee) said that Nairn’s CGF fund was tied up in investments so no surplus money.

Cllr Saggers( CGF trustee) said that Team Hamish could lever in other funds if the public want that, and that CG fund has a net 40 k income per year which could be directed to this if not needed elsewhere  

Cllr Heggie ( CGF trustee) said that Links development could be phased but need a development framework in place first

It was also noted that Nairn’s CG Fund  has  paid 15k for Nick Wright the  consultant’s services to lead consultation for potential Links development. Clearly funds are being accessed but the decision making process is not currently transparent and there needs to be more community input . LM queried if more CG funds were likely to be spent on the ‘development framework’. Tom Heggie said that the Nairnshire Committee which he chairs will decide next steps and has no plans for more spend at present.

Re Sandown Lands ( also Common Good)

Screening opinion now issued re possible development of 65-70 houses for Sandown.nTom Heggie noted that  nothing due to happen in near future as still complex issues to be resolved. If  proposals emerge there will be an 8 week public consultation period.

It was noted that Sandown land must be independently  valued for CGFund purposes. This could be lower if CG Fund is now to be liable for Developer Contributions as landowner

Brian Stewart noted that  if plans were to  go ahead for affordable housing -  Highland Councillors would face a  conflict of interest   to maximise sale value as Nairn  CG Fund trustees , and  as HC sponsors of Housing Association to negotiate  best land price, and low developer contributions.    

AOCB and public questions

Following   items deferred till next meeting to discuss in more detail, due to time constraints  

Harbour Toilets

Grantown Road /Balmakeith traffic management

Harbour Camper Vans and Environmental Health

Public Transport - new Stagecoach bus contracts

Secretary to attend Highland Community Council Review workshop  Sat 24 Nov  Glenurquhart Road HQ 

Action - four items deferred till next meeting


Next Meeting

Meeting ended  9 30   pm

Nairn Community and Arts Centre 7pm Wed December 19th. Proposed joint meeting with Nairn West and Suburban CC

NRCC Meeting dates for 2019

These will be published on our website and High Street Noticeboard, and in Nairnshire Telegraph

As per section 11 c of CC Scheme, NRCC will meet our requirement for  6 meetings plus AGM  per year as follows  

all  at 7pm Nairn Community and Arts Centre on  Wednesdays

 Jan 23, Mar 20, May 15,June 19 AGM, July 17, Sept 18, Nov 19 

Additional  meetings with other CCs to be held as required

et  of