Nairn River Community Council

Comhairle Coimhearsnachd Abhainn Narann

Minutes of the meeting held on 18 July 2018 at the Nairn Community and Arts Centre





Members Present:

Tommy Hogg (TH)(Chair), Hamish Bain part  (HB), Mandy Lawson (ML)(Minutes),  Steven Bain, Veronica MacKinnon , Mike Henderson,  Simon Noble, John Hume,

Also Present :  

Cllr Liz MacDonald ( Cllr LM)

Cllr Laurie Fraser (Cllr LF)

John Dolan (Nairnshire Telegraph)

4 members of public

Apologies : ,  Paul McIvor, Iain Bruce, Aidan McCormack,

Cllr Tom Heggie (CllrTH)

Cllr Peter Saggers ( Cllr PS)


Declarations of interest

No interests were declared


Minutes of last meeting held  June 20  2018

Meeting recorded digitally by Tommy Hogg and John Dolan.

Member John Hume was welcomed back after a period of absence, also Leslie Boulton an ex NRCC Community Councillor

Minutes were approved, proposed by  Veronica Mackinnon

and seconded by   Mandy Lawson


Matters Arising from the Minute 

Cllr MacDonald confirmed that  Richard Porteous of Transport to put a traffic calming scheme  in place at Nairn Harbour

Queries re No overnight parking sign which was taken down by Council as not enforceable


Treasurer's Report

Steven Bain( Veronica to take over as new Treasurer next time) Letter received from Ward Manager confirming that grant will be paid out shortly Total grant 1065.71, which leaves  £979.71 for the year after £86 insurance premium  deducted. Room hire is around 50% of this (up to £46 per meeting for Community Centre which we want to support as a key local ‘hub’


Police Report


Chair to contact Community Police Officer to ask how he is able to engage.



Letter received from HC (Alison Clark) Head of Policy, rejecting NRCC participation request, while also extending an

invitation for the 5 Nairnshire CC’s Chair and Sec to meet with CCP partners on 13 Aug

Letters re planning see later ( 8 Aug site visit, new Morganti plans)

Highland Play - community guidance for community asset transfers of play facilities




Parking Policy

In June this Council voted through Highland Parking Policy - which will be passed after approval at next EDI meeting

Request by Councillors for Nairn Alness Dingwall that these areas  should get full consultation on  Parking Charges, was refused as charges already approved as part of  Council budget.

Common Good land was to be taken out of the current plan and further discussion on implementation deferred till after BID vote.  The likely picture is that if parking charges revenue falls short of targets to be set by HC for 2018/19 the local Community Services budget would lose out.  We have yet to see any credible business case for this.

Other Highland precedents noted of new charges at Chanonry Point of £ 2 - 4 pounds , and parking meters already on CG Land in Inverness City Centre


No change planned in this financial year.

Winter Roads

ML to reminded members to submit any action points for resources to help residents support road and pavement clearing in winter (irony noted that whole of Lochloy estate is unadopted so no gritting guaranteed there)  

Public Survey

Survation quote received - Costs £2000 without toolkit - or face to face training which would add additional costs

Second quote awaited -Panelbase  

Re questions for survey - important for us to see questions and findings from last years CPP survey (still not received) so can learn from this, and build on it

Links development -Cllr MacDonald noted that consultation activity on this was planned by HC  in the summer. Secretary  noted that she was aware that  Team Hamish was also planning a stall at Nairn Show and other events - It would be good if they could coordinate consultation re Links.

SB - said as CC’s now had limited funds we had limited powers  

SN agreed but we need to know what community wants- and raised issue again of making more use of social media/FB. Sec reminded that since no one had volunteered to take  on  24/7 monitoring of FB page we had voted to close it down for now.


P and J journalist CC hosted visit to Nairn  -Susy MacAulay 

13 July - visits to Centre, Viewfield Orchard, Links, Harbour, High Street and proposed devpt sites at Sainsbury, Forres Rd, Lochloy and KIngsteps . Find her podcast on Nairn on P and J  Highland community website


Traffic calming at Harbour for cars and pedestrians. Meeting planned with Richard Porteous in early August .

Nairn Community Partnership

Invitation to meet 13 Aug with Chair and Sec 5 CCs Nairnshire

Tommy and Mandy to attend


Aidan to chase second quote


Current Planning Applications ( deferred to final item)

Laurie Fraser left prior to discussion

Forres Road (Morganti Land - Deveron Homes)

NRCC have submitted further comments on the 50 plus revised documents posted recently by the applicant, Deveron Homes..

Deveron has since gone into administration -and seek a buyer to take over the project. For now the planning application still live. Deveron as applicant does not own the land, which is still in hands of Morganti Trust( with Don Hen solicitors) and Transport Scotland.  Secretary suggested that if we were prepared to put in a lot of work with other local bodies such as NICE we might be able to put together a Community Asset Transfer bid, to access Community Land Fund grant to help buy the land for the town. However we’d need an alternative plan for a viable development project  to protect this green space for community benefit, and prevent removal of historic trees and wildlife habitat.  Suggestions welcomed over summer break.

Sainsbury site ( McDonalds and Home Bargains)

No change

Kingsteps NA2 (MacDonald Land - Springfield)

Residents groups and NRCC preparing for site visit on 8 Aug - 2 places on bus with SPAC members - who will tour area  stopping at key sites at Lochloy and Kingsteps

VM - queried that if SNH grants a licence to move the badger colony - where will they go? They have an ideal damp habitat - even in recent drought conditions -and she noted that best practice guidelines from Scottish Badgers say that good badger land like this should be used for amenity rather than development

Possible vandalism on the Kingsteps site was noted by residents ( VH ) who have noticed  rocks, and builders materials at the mouth of some badger setts. It was agreed that the Police wildlife crime officer should be alerted to this  now that it had been reported in the public domain. Secretary to follow up with Police Scotland.

ML and members to make enquiries

VM - to provide ML with contact information for   Police  Wildlife Officer - to investigate Kingsteps site - in case of criminal acts to block badger setts.


New Planning Applications  

Private housing application for Church Road in a commercial area.

This area  is prone to flooding and very close to River Nairn

TH noted that main sewer to High St runs through the site and also location of former cemetery  

Agreed that Secretary will  ask Planning to grant NRCC statutory consultee status and extend response time so that an objection covering above points to be submitted. HB to draft.

ACTION - raise NRCC consultee objection

Ask Planners for 2 more weeks  to prepare comment


Questions from public

Lochloy residents questions

Some of these were deferred from previous weeks.  3 main topics

1/continued failure by Highland Council to adopt ( and thus maintain)  Montgomery Drive at Lochloy Estate ( the only access from Lochloy Road and A96) and all other roads which lead off it. Why is  this still unresolved after so many years of development ?

With plans in for another 115 homes (at Kingsteps) existing residents have not been  made aware that Montgomery Drive is now to extend through to Kingsteps adding more construction traffic, while Lochloy Road already not coping with traffic volume.

Apparently roads can’t be adopted till SUDS ( see below) is sorted out  and final construction phase is complete ( could be years)

2/ Failure to progress Balmakeith to Lochloy  proposed bridge, and lack of clarity re level of funds already and still to be set aside for this by developers from house sales - (Freedom of Information request pending from Kingsteps Residents Group re developer contributions for Lochloy reported  271k  collected  but  figure falls well short of the number of houses already built( 725) since 2k contribution agreed per house - and it is not clear how contributions per house are being tracked. Needs further investigation

3/ Ongoing disputes and inconsistencies between existing Lochloy residents and developers re grass cutting/landscape maintenance contracts ( some residents have been asked to pay, and some not) and unresolved issue of SUDs drainage at Lochloy which is yet to be vested by Scottish Water.  

There are two SUDS ponds. The higher one is adequate.  More development means that the ‘lower’ SUDS pond … at bottom  of Montgomery is not big enough now for no of houses(and there may be more to come at Kingsteps). Only under pressure from NRCC , have SW admitted that SUDS provision is now insufficient based on survey they were obliged to do.  The only option  now is to feed surplus drain water into sewage system

Lochloy residents already have water pressure problems in part due to a single narrow supply pipe for the whole estate

JHume noted that although the sewage works has capacity -the Nairn pipe network is not coping and 115 more houses at Kingsteps will add pressure.

No clarity re whose responsibility this is.  

Scottish Water or the Developer, or Highland Council?

As Cllr Fraser left at the start, and  Cllr MacDonald chose to leave before discussion on impacts of the Kingsteps planning application, yet again no answers were available tonight from Nairn Councillors as all had left by this point.

1AOCB .  

ML noted key documents circulated by email to members Links Scoping Report and Paddling Pool replacement,  plus Team Hamish vision,

Balmakeith /Grantown Road update - HC road surfacing was done just before gas pipe renewal dug it up again -  Council  says scheduled for next year but was done now as budget left

Smiley Face traffic calming sign has not appeared. HB to talk to Richard Porteous

Proposal to redo white lines further into Grantown Rd -for road safety - concern re use as rat run between Forres and Inverness

Iain Henderson - Query re funding for hospitality at British Legion- after Remembrance Day Service since HC will no longer pay for tea and sandwiches.  Asked if NRCC could donate  £150. ML said not viable due to recent funding cuts.   Suggestion for Legion itself to explore fund raising opportunities - eg coffee morning or evening event.

NRCC may explore new ways to fundraise for Civic Events and have an annual grant giving round - so that distribution could be fairly decided.  This can be discussed further at  Aug 15 members meeting


Meeting ended at  9 30   pm

Next meeting  Aug 15th  at Community Centre  to start at 7pm ( members only private meeting) Next public meeting 19 Sept

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