The battle of the badgers - Nairn 2018

A coach load of Highland Councillors will arrive in Nairn tomorrow morning.

They are here to look at the land belonging to one of them, Councillor Elizabeth MacDonald.

Ironically they'll probably be late for their 9:30am start due to the volume of traffic in Nairn.

Planning permission has been applied for to build 115 houses on her land at Lochloy Road.

There have been many objections. Planning applications usually bring a tide of NIMBY interest.

This time though it's not just about not wanting to look out of your back window and see a new housing scheme, the main concern is about infrastructure or rather lack of it especially when it comes to the local roads, and one junction in particular where Lochloy Road joins the A96.

It's a problem junction now with the volume of traffic it carries. especially at peak times. How will it fair with perhaps another 200+ cars, not very well.

There is also the issue of wildlife, bulldozed when it comes to money. Sets of badgers that have been on the land in question going back centuries will be homeless.

What about all the people on Nairn's housing waiting list? The houses being built will do little to address that unless they are sold and then let as I suspect some will, but for many people the houses will represent an unaffordable dream in terms of home ownership and they'll remain in high cost rented accommodation that will sook any ideas they might have of saving for a deposit.

What really needs to happen (putting to one side the issue of the wildlife) is for the land to be given to the people of Nairn so homes that ordinary young folk can afford to buy homes. That would be true altruism but is unlikely to happen.

So will Highland councillors look favourably upon their colleague who wants to develop the land. One fears that the answer is probably yes as they'll ignore a whole raft of questions as in a blinkered way new houses equal new council tax income, the bottom line.

For those who're able to do so pop along to the Lochloy Road tomorrow morning as our councillors would love to hear your opinion.

Meanwhile anyone want to offer a home to a family or two of badgers?