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Nairn population estimate rubbished by doctor

By SPP Reporter

Nairn High Street.
Nairn High Street.

A NAIRN doctor has rubbished Highland Council’s forecast of population growth in the town for the next decade.

Joan Noble questioned the local authority’s estimate that 1196 new homes are required in Nairn up to 2021 during an hearing into the Highland-wide Local Development Plan.

Contentious issues emerging from the proposed planing blueprint, which is expected to be adopted in the next few months, were debated in Inverness today by residents, council officials and developers.

Council official Cameron Thomas explained that the housing estimate was based on birth and death rates in Nairnshire in 2006 and migration to and from the town.

Mr Thomas, an information and research officer, said divorce rates, a projected increase in elderly residents and adults living alone had also been factored in to arrive at the figures.

However, Dr Noble, of the Nairn Residents Concern Group, claimed the council’s estimate was inaccurate and said only four new homes had been built in Nairn last year, while the average figure of new builds was between 50 and 60 in the last five or six years.

"It has grossly over estimated the increase in population," said Dr Noble. "We are planning for huge numbers of houses for people that are not going to be there. This plan has huge importance for Nairn. We have got 200 homes on the open market and they are not sold. The housing market is in freefall."

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