Strategy Paper for River Nairn and Harbour

Following the meeting in the sailing club and other discussions, the importance to Nairnshire of its river, the harbour and beaches is more fully understood and is in need of thoughtful actions.

If we consider the area as a T with the river as the leg and the beaches as the cross we can start to understand how closely they are inter twinned. The beaches are supporting the Parkdean Caravan site, the 2 golf courses with walks to Culbin forest to the east and Fort George to the west. All are essential components of our tourist industry. It is also some of the best wetland /bird watching areas in Britain if not in all Europe

If we start with the River Nairn, it is virtually unspoiled by development on its banks. The trees and flood plain are like a Canadian wilderness. We must protect this wonderful ecology and quietness.

The gravel extraction for McDermott’s and some of the river stone placements have not helped.

Action points

No more gravel extraction from river bed.

Careful thought and restrictions on more pool engineering with SNH and SEPA input as well as Fisheries Board.

Walking path to Firhall with new Firhall Bridge.

Flood risk alleviation by extracting gravel at mouth of river /harbour basin

No extra pollution/storm water to be directed into River Nairn from future developments.



Massive tourist and leisure potential.

Sailing club, Kayak club both see great benefits from development of harbour area.

Harbour in urgent need of repair /rebuild.

If nothing is done it will disappear.

Action points

New harbour design with deep water outer harbour to allow for bigger marina/touring Scandinavian / German boats.

Extended east harbour wall to stop sand build up

Dredging of gravel sand at river’s mouth

Facility for sailing club/kayak club in new harbour design

Tourist attraction/restaurant/bar


Flooding of Fishertown

Action points

Urgent action is needed to protect Fishertown conservation site from River and sea flooding



Action points

Sewage flooding in Fishertown /urgent action required

Sewage work malfunction/risk of bacterial pollution to bathing water quality

Smell risk to both caravan site and Nairn Dunbar golf club

New pipes to take sewage to sewage works

Other suggestions

Maggot boating pond/Kayak /sailing beginner’s training

Links potential/parking/transport to and from town centre

Putting green/children’s play area

Route from town centre to harbour along links and back up through Viewfield to town centre


HIE/Coastal/Fishing /Harbour money to buy capacity to get this done.

Professional engineering and architect input.

Dr Alastair L Noble

Chairman NICE

Partnership – the Way Forward

We recently announced our Annual General Meeting to be held on the 29th Oct, 7.30pm in the Community & Arts Centre. There are some key issues on the agenda and we encourage as many of our 1000+ members as possible to attend. Around a year ago we were delighted that Highland Council declared their intention to work in partnership with us in the development of the Old Social Work Building. A valuation was sought and a price for its purchase agreed. However, our plans to work with an anchor tenant fell through at the last minute. We were therefore unable to submit our offer to buy within the alloted timetable. An extension to that timetable was refused and as a result we have struggled to fully understand what Highland Council meant by partnership working.

In all our discussion around town centre development with Highland Council and other town centre stakeholders, especially during the specially convened Charrette, there was general agreement on the way forward. Through the NICE survey many local residents also fed their ideas into the debate. The big issue to be faced – as it always has-  is how to convert these ideas into practical outcomes. We have yet to find a mechanism for working in partnership and it is increasingly clear that doing so is complex. We now recognise that whatever Highland Council agree, it is important that our local elected representatives also support partnership working.

We believe that the only way to make progress on the OSWB and town centre development in general is to sit round the table with our four local councillors and draw up an agreed agenda. This we have now agreed to do before the AGM. As a Community Development Trust we can bring certain things to the table that the local authority cannot so it makes perfect sense to work together. We look forward to our meeting and hope we’ll be able to define a use for the OSWB that will see it used for the benefit of the community.

NICE Annual General Meeting 2014


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the third ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the above company will be held at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 29th October 2014 at the Nairn Community & Arts Centre for the purpose of the following business:

1 Welcome & Introduction
2 Apologies for Absence
3 Secretary’s Report
4 Chairman’s Report
5 Consideration of Accounts for year ended 30 November 2013
6 Election of Directors (under the Company’s Articles Campbell Mair, Graham Kerr & Matthew Hilton will be retiring and may offer themselves for re-election)
7 RESOLUTION to add postcodes IV2 7PJ and IV2 7SQ to Appendix 1 of the Company’s Articles.
8 Proposal to work with Nairn Citizen’s Advice Bureau for joint use of the Old Social Work Building.
9 Proposal to establish a subsidiary company to deliver the Sandown Park & Wetlands Project.
10 Discussion of “Developing a Partnership Approach” with Highland Council in relation to the recent Charrette for the Town Centre.
11 Any Other Business

Agenda items 8 – 10 are particularly important, and Members are encouraged to appoint a proxy to vote on their behalf if they are unable to attend in person. The appointment of a proxy should be made using this form – AGM PROXY2014 and be received by the Company Secretary by 7.30 pm on 27th October 2014.

A copy of the company’s Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 30th November 2013 are available here

DATED this 13th day of October 2014.
Michael Barnett
Company No: SC388110
Registered Office: Drumdelnies, by Nairn, IV12 5NT


Introduction: Highland Council is planning to hold a mini-Charrette event in Nairn that will have a clear focus on identifying the mechanisms for delivering and funding projects that will best deliver town centre regeneration. This proposal is made by The Highland Council in partnership with a number of interested parties, including Community Councils and business groups in each town and plan to work closely with these groups to maximise the involvement of everyone concerned.

The town centre regeneration project will focus on Nairn town centre but will extend to include consideration of its relationship to other important parts of the town including the harbour, The Links, former farmer’s show field and future development areas. It also needs to address wider transport connections and the accessibility of shops and community facilities and services. It will form a consolidated plan for embracing change, delivering town centre regeneration and improvement and the integration of growth areas in the town.

As one of the partners in this consultation the directors of NICE invite the community to participate in this consultation exercise to express what they want the Town Centre to deliver in terms of services and facilities. This is within the area defined by Highland Council as NA7, bounded by the A96, the High St and Leopold St. However, alongside Highland Council, we do not wish to exclude adjacent areas such as the Harbour from consideration and we have prepared the survey questions with this in mind.

Please be mindful of what NICE perceives to be the overall objective – the regeneration of Nairn, more local residents, more employment in Nairn and more visitors. This consultation is ultimately about the community’s shared vision for Nairn and not at this early stage about how that is funded or achieved. We believe Nairn has a unique opportunity given that the Town Centre area is effectively an empty open space at present. In short, we have to plan for the future and the opportunity is there for us to be radical. So, tell us what you think.

This survey builds on NICE’s previous exercise last year. The main outcomes relevant to the Town Centre can be summarised as:
For goodness sake do something!
Nairn needs to offer more employment opportunities
Nairn’s beach is its greatest visitor attraction
A Visitor Information & Orientation Centre is essential to attracting more visitors to stop in Nairn.

Update: With regard to the Old Social Work Building we hope very soon to bring forward firm proposals for consideration by members.

It is important that local views are heard and we urge everyone who has an interest in Nairn’s future to complete the survey.

Click here to take survey

NICE returned to its roots for a brainstorming session

NICE grew out of public meetings held originally in the Sailing Club. It returned to that venue once more last night (11th Nov) to meet with members of the Kayak Club, the Sailing Club, harbour representatives and two Highland Councillors, Colin and Michael.

Much of the discussion focussed on the current poor state of the harbour and the problem of silting and rubble being washed down the river. Alistair Noble said: “If we don’t do something over the next 10 or 20 years the harbour will fall into the mouth of the River Nairn.”

The Kayak Club and the Sailing Club outlined the potential of their activities and they both see Nairn as playing a key role in being an Olympic pathway for these sports.

Full report here –


The following serves to explain and underscore why NICE was formed. Some question our motives but there is nothing sinister about it – it is Government policy to give communities more say and more local control.

The Minister for Local Government and Planning, Derek Mackay, today (6th Nov) launched a consultation on the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill.

The aim of the Bill is to make the most of the talents that exist in our communities; deliver high quality and improving public services; and support strong local democracy and local decision-making.

The Bill will include:

•       a new way for communities to take on public sector land and buildings

•       opportunities for communities to be more involved in shaping and delivering better outcomes locally

•       greater transparency in the management and disposal of the Common Good

•       improved powers for local authorities to recover the costs of dealing with dangerous and defective buildings

•       measures to streamline and extend the rural community right to buy

•       new duties to strengthen Community Planning, so that public sector agencies work as one to deliver better outcomes for communities

•       updated and simplified legislation on allotments

•       new powers for local authorities to create local business rate relief schemes.

We are also inviting views on other ways to reflect local democracy principles, and considering how communities might benefit from legislation to strengthen the national and local focus on improving outcomes, currently implemented through Scotland Performs.

The consultation  paper is available on the Scottish Government website at  If you would like a printed copy, please contact, or telephone 0131 244 0382.  The closing date for responses is 24 January 2014.

This consultation takes forward proposals that were supported in our previous, exploratory consultation, and other issues which have emerged from further discussion with stakeholders.  We are contacting people who responded to that earlier consultation, and others who have expressed an interest in the issues covered, to make sure you have the chance to comment on our detailed proposals.

Officials will be attending events and visiting groups with an interest in the Bill to help them understand the proposals.  Visit our website at or follow us on Twitter, @CommEmpower, to keep up with what’s happening.

We look forward to hearing your views.

The Community Empowerment Bill Team

The Scottish Government: Return control of Common Good Assets

We are pleased to publish an email concerning efforts in Forres to have Common Good Asset control returned to Community Councils.


Something amazing happened last week!

Our petition asking The Scottish Government to return our local assets to the local people they were gifted to started to stall. It was great that so many of you signed and shared the web-link with your friends.. Thank YOU to those of you who did that…

After a great start, it quickly spread. However it slowed down around 650 people and only one or two people were joining each day. I canvassed and nagged a few of my friends and one by one the numbers grew. However I realised that I had reached the scope of my social network and felt a bit down that I couldn’t do any more. So I went to bed feeling a bit depressed 🙁

When I woke up the numbers were starting to go up again and by lunchtime the numbers were over 800!. I watched in awe as more and more people signed and shared… 900 and then 1000 (our initial target). Still new folk kept signing – 100 in the next hour and then another 100 in the next 40 minutes. We were gobsmacked!. In one day the numbers had more than doubled and they are still rising steadily (presently 1380 people have now signed 🙂

It became clear that this was not just a local issue and much bigger than our own local Battle for Bogton. Yes, we are still fighting our local authority who seem to be intent on selling off our beautiful park owned by us to a major property developer to build a shopping mall (which we feel will kill our high street and destroy the character of our town).

But this has become Bigger than Bogton… Bigger than Forres. Bigger than Scotland! Read how here…

We realise now that we need to keep growing this petition and take it to the UK parliament for those living in England who are equally affected.

So, we don’t intend to stop this campaign and are now aiming for 10,000 people to join us in bringing this important matter to the highest authority. 10,000 of us will not be ignored by the press, the telly and even by our politicians. Its time to bring our power back to local communities everywhere. In trying to stop our wee town becoming Anytown, Anywhere we now hope to help Everytown Everywhere. 🙂

Thank YOU for helping make this happen. You are more powerful than ypu realise! If you haven’t already done so, please share the link above on your social network site and encourage your friends to do the same. Together we are many and we must be heard. Lets see this petition really rocket!

Together we will stop the land grabs. If you too are fighting a similar battle in your town please join our local facebook group and paste a link to it so that we can work together…

Thankyou, thankyou, thank YOU

Stewart Noble
for The Battle for Bogton, Forres.

NICE Annual General Meeting


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the second ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the above company will be held at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 7 August 2013 at the Nairn Community & Arts Centre for the purpose of the following business:

  1. Welcome & Introduction

  2. Apologies for Absence

  3. Secretary’s Report

  4. Chairman’s Report

  5. Consideration of Accounts for year ended 30 November 2012

  6. Election of Directors (under the Company’s Articles John Hart, Rosemary Young & Iain Fairweather will be retiring and will offer themselves for re-election)

  7. Discussion of the Old Social Work Building Feasibility Study Report

  8. Any Other Business

 Members are encouraged to appoint a proxy to vote on their behalf if they are unable to attend in person. The appointment of a proxy should be made using this form – AGM PROXY FORM and should be received by the Company Secretary by 7.30 pm on 5 August 2013.

A copy of the company’s accounts for the year ended 30 November 2012 is available here – NICE ACCOUNTS 2011 12

The Feasibility Study Report will also be available on the company’s website on or before 31 July 2013.

Download a copy of this Notice and Agenda

DATED this 20th day of July 2013.


Michael Barnett

Company No: SC388110
Registered Office: Drumdelnies, by Nairn, IV12 5NT

NICE – by the Community for the Community

The Vision for Nairn presentation will take place at the Community & Arts Centre on 12th October at 7.30pm

Background: Around two years ago a group of residents concerned about town centre development met together to see if they could bring forward imaginative new ideas for the town centre – to make it more attractive, more welcoming and offer more facilities and amenities for local people. Lots of ideas came forward and the group adopted the title of Nairn Improvement Community Enterprise. The outcome of several meetings was a proposed new plan for the town centre. Discussions took place with Highland Council and a public meeting was held in which the NICE proposal was debated alongside that of the Highland Council plans. Continue reading