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Decision on possible sale of Sandown lands in Nairn could be deferred as Highland Council report talks of lack of response to consultation

By Scott Maclennan

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Sandown Lands in Nairn. Picture: Gary Anthony
Sandown Lands in Nairn. Picture: Gary Anthony

Councillors are to be asked to approve an additional period of consultation over Sandown lands, with clearer proposals on what to do with common good assets.

A previous consultation was not regarded as a success, with just 98 responses in all including too few from key groups and general misunderstanding of the proposals and plans according to council officers.

Members of the Nairnshire committee, due to meet tomorrow, are now being asked to approve an extended period of consultation which will include “practical methods” to increase engagement with graphics of the Sandown Development Brief.

There will also be an “easy read version” developed along with materials to support the involvement and inclusion of groups within the community through “key officers, partners and agencies”.

And to support the consultation, a short-term reference group will be established through a community partnership.

If all that is agreed, the outcome of the new consultation will be considered at the first meeting of the Nairnshire committee in 2022.

Common good fund officer Sara Murdoch and head of services Alison Clark stated in a report to councillors: “Further work has been undertaken to review the analysis which has highlighted concerns regarding: the numbers who responded to the original consultation; key groups within the community who have not responded; misunderstandings of the proposals and potential use of the land; and a lack of feedback from respondents on what they would wish to see Sandown lands used for.”

Related articles: Decision day around corner for key Nairn site

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