Images of Nairn - page 3

 

Viewfield - proposed site of a new 'Community Centre'

This section added on 14 August 2003

In mid-June Highland Council abandoned plans to build the proposed new Community Centre on Viewfield, following a massive public meeting onsite at which members of Highland Council Planning Committee and Planning Officials were present. In addition to Council members from Nairn, there were also present members from other parts of the Highland Council region - who were considered to be particularly valuable as 'impartial' voices.

The company who had wished to take this project forward have now pulled out of any plans to do so because of the lack of certainty that an acceptable alternative site will be identified anytime soon - certainly an understandable reaction. Also important, no doubt, was the fact that the delay means that funding which might have been available required a formal application to be made by this Autumn at the latest - this was one of the main reasons given prior to the May 2003 elections why it was essential to rush through approval for the project to be built on the Viewfield site.

My impression is that the vast majority of people in Nairn are pleased that the Viewfield site is now protected from encroachment, whilst there is obviously disappointment that the project is delayed for the foreseeable future - with follow-on effects on plans to redevelop a major part of the centre of the town. I have read a few letters in the local newspaper, however, expressing disgruntlement that the 'nimby' attitudes of those who live close to the Viewfield site have prevented the creation of a resource the community badly needs - whilst I can appreciate this aspect of the argument, it seems to me that whilst the delay is painful it will focus minds on a search for realistic alternatives which can find public favour. The Viewfield site would have been a 'cheap' and quick option, but I doubt if it would have enhanced the overall liveability of the town.

This section added on 6 April 2003

Highland Council have published outline plans for a planning application to build a new Community Centre on Viewfield, a large area of public parkland in the centre of Nairn, currently housing the Nairn Museum and the Sports Club with several tennis courts, as well as a large area of amenity park for public use. Few details of the development are available, but an unrealistically short period (in my view) has been left for public discussion before the plans, and indeed the location, of this project are finalised. At the edge of the site nearest the A96 trunk road is a largish area of derelict building (the former Bus Station - see photograph at the bottom of this page) which appears not to have been considered for this development, and one has to wonder why. It is observed that the local elections (for Highland Council) and the Scottish Parliamentary elections are both to be held in May. It almost seems as if an attempt has been made to rush through this ill-considered plan without allowing sufficient time for public scrutiny, whilst the Council and Parliament is in abeyance pending the forthcoming elections.

Looking north over the Moray Firth, from Nairn Museum

April 2003

View from the Museum toward the tennis courts, Gelbe Road and Claymore Gardens

April 2003

View from near the Police Station and the Sports Club (the left corner of the tennis courts is at the right side of the photograph) over the north side of Viewfield looking toward the Firth

April 2003

Rear of the old Bus Station, across Viewfield Drive from the Police Station and the Sports Club. The old Bus Station fronts onto King Street (i.e. the main A96 Inverness to Aberdeen trunk road) and has been derelict and unused for a number of years.

April 2003

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