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Sandown lands to be discussed

By Donald Wilson

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Sandown lands.
Sandown lands.

The chairman of a local community council has welcomed the news that an agricultural tenant is being sought by Highland Council for Common Good lands at Sandown.

The site has been the centre of a controversy between Highland Council and locals who were opposed to the local authority trying to sell of the land for major housing development.

Dr Alastair Noble, chairman of Nairn West and Suburban Community Council, said: “We welcome the news about the lease of Sandown.

“It is making the best use of a Common Good asset and we await further developments on the Common Good Engagement Committee to move forward and find a long-term sustainable way of running Nairn’s valuable Common Good Fund.”

The topic is on the agenda of tomorrow’s Nairnshire committee, as Highland Council seeks an agricultural tenant for the fields which are located on the western fringes of Nairn.

The fields will become available for lease from January 2023.

The Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) will manage the application process.

The deadline for offers is noon this Friday.

SAC will inform any successful applicants next week.

If the successful bidder manages the land appropriately in 2023 and abides by the terms of the lease, it is likely that they will be asked in the future to lease the land at Sandown on a seasonal basis for four years.

In his regular newsletter to constituents, Highland councillor Paul Oldham advised the area’s Highland councillors heard local authority officials’ thinking behind a planned Common Good Engagement Committee, which will allow town residents to get more involved in how the council manages the Nairn Common Good.

This was a pledge made by newly elected Highland councillors in May as a consequence of ongoing concerns about how the fund is being managed by the council. Tomorrow’s Nairnshire Committee meeting at the Courthouse will be the first in person since the lifting of pandemic-related restrictions.

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