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Common Good Fund’s loo role? Public toilets at Nairn harbour – which have been the subject of complaints about an infestation of rats – are to be reopened soon by Highland Council

By Donald Wilson

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Toilet block at Nairn harbour. Picture: Gary Anthony
Toilet block at Nairn harbour. Picture: Gary Anthony

Public toilets at Nairn harbour – which have been the subject of complaints about an infestation of rats – are to be reopened soon by Highland Council.

And members of Nairn West and Suburban Community Council (NWSCC) have been told there are plans to make overnight parking for camper vans and mobile homes available at the Maggot car park.

Councillor Tom Heggie, chairman of Highland Council’s Nairn area committee, had previously reported an assessment of costs and the viability of reopening the toilets was taking place.

Complaints had also been received recently about a build-up of waste at the entrance to the facility, which was closed three years ago.

Local residents complained of a woman feeding rats who live in the harbour walls and the rodents were finding their way into the entrance of the disused toilets.

Following the complaints being highlighted in the Courier the area was cleaned up.

Highland Councillor Peter Saggers, at the May meeting of NWSCC, reported that the toilets would soon be reopened.

"We had an inspection and are working out the details and who is going to look after them."

But members were unhappy when they were told that the cost of running the toilets would be met by the Common Good Fund.

The issue of what the Nairn Common Good should and should not be paying including thousands of pounds for grass cutting of Common Good Land has been a bone of connection which some members of the community group have been challenging.

Speaking at the meeting retired GP Joan Noble said 75 public toilets were being looked after in the Highlands by the council and it's absolutely unacceptable that they have a budget for this and they would charge the cost of the toilets at Nairn harbour to the Nairn Common Good Fund.

"We are just being taken to the cleaners," she said.

Cllr Saggers said the important thing was to have them open then decide who pays for them. Asked if there was significant capital spending in restoring the toilet to use Cllr Saggers said there was not.

Cllr Jimmy Ferguson said: "The toilets need to be opened. Who pays for it can be thrashed out afterwards."

Shane Manning, Highland Council's Principal Traffic Officer also reported to the meeting there were plans to create overnight parking for motor homes at the Maggot car park. He said he was sure motor home owners would not grudge paying £5 or £10 a night.

Facilities for motor homes have recently been provided at Findhorn.

Twenty-one bays on hard standing can now be pre-booked via www.findhornparking.com at a rate of £15/night. Access is by ANPR barrier system.

Currently there is no waste disposal but this will be in place by the end of June and will include black and grey waste disposal points and fresh water supply. There is also also have a general waste collection point for motorhome users and there are also public toilets in the adjacent car park.

He also promised he would investigate the provision of signage for the car parking spaces available at the East Beach car park.

Cllr Noble had said pressure had been placed on the central Links car park and the harbour car parking since Parkdean had been given permission to use part of the facility for campervans and mobile homes. She added too there there was a perception that the public toilets at the car park belonged to Parkdean when in fact they are public toilets.

Related article: Rat run – debris by disused toilet block and claims that a woman has been feeding rats have led to a serious vermin problem in Nairn harbour

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