Nairnshire Telegraph panders to developers
The over-riding message from objections to the Sandown development was that Nairn was not against development – simply that the proposed Deveron development was far too large.
The Nairnshire Telegraph does (within the internal coverage) point out that Deveron were repeatedly asked to reduce the number of homes, and repeatedly ignored this request.
And yet, the Nairnshire Telegraph grants the full front page to allowing Deveron and Invicta to lay their case, criticisms, and grievances – with almost zero comment from the people of Nairn itself.
And in the editorial, Iain Bain bemoans the fact that Nairn needs development and that we’ll never get an A96 bypass unless we get development.
Newsflash Iain – there has been a bypass promised for decades and it has never arrived. We already have grid-lock in Nairn (early Friday evenings are a great example) so it’s already clear the need is there now. And all we have to show for that fact is a vague promise from the Scottish Government to maybe get one started within the next 20 years.
Adding a new settlement the size of Kingussie to the east of Nairn is not going to speed up the arrival of a bypass if past performance is anything to go on.
And the Sandown site is still set for development – and there’s no big uproar about that.
Development is a necessary part of growth – it draws in services and amenities that can work in everyone’s interests – but what we’ve seen raised time and time again over the past few months is that unbridled development works in developer interests, but against the town’s.
In the case of Sandown, let’s underline that Deveron were repeatedly told that 550 homes was too many, but they figured on trying to steamroll over such objections regardless.
Now Deveron has a chance to submit a revised plan that indeed may make less profit per square metre – but is far less likely to rouse the same level of objection.
However, a comment I believed attributed to Mark Cummings, the spokesperson for Invicta, suggests Deveron may have options that can leave dormant for years. Not least for when the current Local Plan (certainly out of date) is replaced with a new regional plan that may be more sympathetic to the development criteria, and thus reduce technical objections to a repeat submission of the same.
Hopefully Deveron have learned that they need to suggest in a real degree of compromise – but it remains to be seen how they look to proceed.
In the meantime, I wonder if the whole Sandown issue is going to turn into another farce along the lines of giving away land free to Somerfield. After all, Deveron seem to still have a hold on the land, and because they did not pay money up front for the land, the people of Nairn still have nothing to show for this whole process.