Nairn Town Centre Plan

Complete the Town Centre Survey

Following public consultation in 2014, Highland Council published a shared community vision for Nairn town centre. It was given the go-ahead in Oct 2015 by Members of the Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey Area Committee.

Members agreed that a new ‘Nairn Community Town Centre Plan’ be adopted as non-statutory planning guidance to influence future planning applications for Nairn town centre and help community organisations to make bids for funding projects. There were several themes.

Theme 2: Make better use of area between King St and the High St

The final approved plan has been developed in collaboration between community groups, Highland Council and partners including responses received to a public consultation on the ‘Draft Nairn Town Centre Action Plan’. Public workshops were held in Nairn during April and May 2014 with assistance from the Scottish Government’s town centre regeneration fund.

The proposals below were put forward at the public consultation event to develop this plan. They reflect a need to improve the attractiveness of open space in the town centre and increase vitality by finding new uses for buildings and spaces.


  1. Establish a new Town Square
  2. Provide new multi-function space
  3. Reconfigure car-parking to achieve more efficient use of space
  4. Bring the Council’s former social work building back into use
  5. Convert the Council’s Finance Office to civic use

Complete the Town Centre Survey

View the full Plan as published by Highland Council

We regret and apologise for the linkage of #TeamHamish to the NICE Town Centre Survey as reported in the Nairnshire Telegraph 15th Sept. This is an independent NICE survey and has nothing to do with #TeamHamish.

28 thoughts on “Nairn Town Centre Plan

  1. We seem stuck between a rock and hard place . C.a.b proposals are far along and may come to fruition .where the town centre plan etc is dead in the water at the moment . .this town needs investment and movement on projects to propel us forward so do we wait for who knows when and if the town centre plan becomes more then just a plan ?? Or actually let someone turn that area into something needed.?? (Unless its changed ,highland council refused last year to buy old properties on the high street and change to residential use so that isnt practical as would need a private developer whom we seem to be short of at this moment in time ) .
    We cant even make some businesses take charge of their buildings and clean them up …ie the disgraceful image portrayed to all passing through (the top of the old regal building..) the wall around co.op carpark needs investigating who owns it and clean it up ..I could go on about how the high street is looking more and more shabby in the 22 years I’ve lived here…but we seem intent on just saying NO to everything just because we may not like it and just talk about projects of what we would like in an ideal world but has no chance of happening .and doing our utmost to make visitors passing through feel unwelcome
    So in conclusion if there is no viable real alternatives that are deliverable and not just wishes and talking shops ..then let investors come procose what’s needed and hopefully others will follow

  2. It would be nice to see the old building retained but would the cost of doing it up outdo the cost of demolishing it and rebuilding. Old-style buildings always enhance a town and if there is to be a new build it would be good to see something stylish and not just something thrown up for cheapness. As accommodation in Nairn is badly needed and if a rebuild them I am in favour of flats being part of it assuming that the CAB gets the space they need. The parking area does need to be ‘tidied’ up and the area would benefit from it being one well-planned car park as opposed to being what it is now.
    I am opposed to car parking charges in the centre of town so as to help the small businesses but not opposed to charges elsewhere. If installed at the harbour it would be good to see designated spaces for campervans leaving space for cars. Maybe some way of allowing concessions for locals( like me ) who spend time at the harbour – in my case bird watching but I am not opposed to having to pay something.
    Something also needs to be done about the state of the old cinema above the Coop as it stands out as being an eyesore and it is the first thing visitors see when coming into Nairn.
    Nairn needs an overhaul in many ways and hopefully, it will come about sooner than later.

  3. Going back to the map – it looks good but what would the multi function space be? It is certainly a great idea to have a town square. On more consideration would it be possible to retain the facade of the old building?

  4. The police station is full utilised or will be shortly. Did anyone bother to ask them??
    The building to be demolished has been empty for many years for a reason. It is not financially viable for repurposing.
    The CAB unit is unfit for purpose. Not big enough and not disabled accessible.
    Nairn is in desperate need of social housing.
    What’s the problem?

    • No building is going to be demolished. The carbuncle is planned to be built on the car-park. The Old Police Station is in the state it is in as a result of Highland Council mismanagement of Nairn and our historic buildings – all it needs is care, willingness and (quite) a few bob. Look at the condition of the Court House before they were forced to repair it – bits were ready to fall off and it was leaking – all as a result of not having a maintenance programme.
      Time Nairn was independent of Inverness concentric THC.

      • Why would Nairn want to lose its police station? That would reduce footfall in the town and centralise another important service in Inverness. Nairn needs more people working in the centre of town…more people to shop locally in their breaks…shouldn’t be driving them out!

  5. Can anyone say that any of the new (last 30 years) buildings that now grace King Street have added anything positive to this town, I’m afraid they are all either carbunkles or white elephants or worse both. I’m afraid that horse has already bolted. The short sightedness, lack of a plan and willingness to listen to the spivs, developers, investors etc and to allow market forces to decide what is needed is just dead wrong.
    I think we can all trust that whatever goes on that site will be of the lowest quality and offer up the highest profit. I suggest keeping the old jail house and setting up some stocks at the front of the existing building so that it may continue to serve as a monument to wasted opportunities, lack of investment (all of that 70’s and 80’s oil money that gushed through this town), lack of vision and the death of a community.

    • Shaun, I agree with you entirely. Nairn has been forgotten and underfunded for decades now, I am reminded of a letter Ronnie Watson, former Provost of Nairn, submitted to the Nairnshire Telegraph a wee while before he passed away. It warned of Nairn losing it’s identity and being subsumed by Inverness.
      Keep making your voice heard on these matters, us locals have to take a stand and remember the pride that we and our forbears had, and still have in this town.Time for Community Empowerment to become reality.

  6. Following public consultation in 2014??? Establish a new Town Square??? Bring the Council’s former social work building back into use???

    Your weak town centre survey is an indication of how ineffective NICE is.

    CAB update August – 291 clients supported, 1,532 pieces of advice, £120,263 in Client financial gain. What are NICE’s metrics for August?

  7. Nice have had this report for a number of years. Yet appear to have done little in mean time.
    What are there intentions for social work building?
    How will it be funded?
    What is time frame for its delivery?

    All this should be out in the open in advance of any survey.

  8. Firstly, I must declare an interest, I am on the CAB board.

    Had research by NICE been even rudimentary by contacting the CAB for their reasons for new premises, they would have known the lengthy and extensive effort that has gone into looking for more suitable accommodation for the Bureau.
    Every property available in the town has been has been assessed and to date none have met the requirements needed.

    The Police Station has been highlighted in your survey. Enquiries indicate the police station is fully occupied: home to the National Domestic Abuse Unit, and the offender tracing unit is already based there. The CID from Aviemore are shortly to move in and the new Area Commander is basing herself there. Having to find 10 or more rooms to house the CAB on a permanent basis is not feasible.

    Converting the old social work building was our first, preferred option, but the cost of doing this made it untenable.

    The planned new build will fulfil all our needs as well as providing desperately needed accommodation.

    It’s been 5 years since the Town Plan was published, and very few of the proposed items highlighted in it have been accomplished. Towns and their needs move on , the proposed new build will provide desperately needed accommodation as well as a suitable home for Nairn CAB

    • Aye that was one of the proposals the Police put forward but after the recent estate review they have suggested that they would be happy to receive propositions for Community Asset Transfers; that could be arranged and CAB could move in to a modern office before Christmas this year and would not have to wait for 18-24 months.

      Poor CAB could not afford to upgrade the OSWB but are managing to screw the Public purse for £3million – its not what is needed just who you know.

      The Highland Council have not shown willing to drive the NTC plan funding; just like most things in Nairn THC are happy to take but never to give. THC a morally corrupt organisation? – have been and continue to be – unless they can prove otherwise!

      • Receiving an asset transfer request and granting it are two separate things. I take objection to your allegation that CAB are “screwing the public purse for £3 million” “Poor CAB” are funding approx a third of the cost of this project, a reflection of the share of the building they will use. The Estimated cost to repurpose the OSWB was in excess of £1.6 million and was therefore untenable.

      • I’ve helped with the fundraising for the purchase of new CAB premises and have seen the dedicated staff and volunteers give up their weekends to stand in, often wet n windy fields at events to raise money. The community have been very supportive of CABs need for new premises and made donations too. They aren’t relying on the public purse.

    • In the 5 years since the town plan, things have changed.

      This year alone there has already been a huge demand on the housing list, this could well continue into next year.

      Nairn Citizen’s Advice Bureau have also seen an increase from the community seeking free advice.

      This new building would go a long way in assisting locals .

  9. Forgive me if I’m wrong but I believe I’ve seen a figure of £3,000,000 plus for the development. For 12 flats? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to buy 12 homes up on the latest Lochloy development plus a bigger empty property in town for the CAB? Is this the best use of cash for badly needed social housing?

    • That Des, buying at least 12 dwellings, is the plan as far as I can see from reading all the objections in this useless, corrupt application run by the alleged corrupt THC planning department, along with refurbishment of the High Street. Much better and more sensible plan. Next year is apparently going to be a bumper year for visitors only problem might be there may not be anywhere to park.

      • I have been informed that our Highland Council elected members and Officers planned this early last year, almost eighteen months on there has not been one community body in Nairn consulted about it. Next Tuesday this will go before the Highland Council South Planning Committee. Tom Heggie and Laurie Fraser will both approve it, and Pete Saggers is a Director of CAB. The Planning Committee is made up of Councillors who, with the exception of two, do not live in Nairn. Yet they will make the decision on this controversial application. If you do not want it please make your voice heard to your local Councillors as soon as possible. They have a duty of care to represent your views, not their own.

        • Planning website shows application January and NRCC are named as consultee (document/comments submitted July)

          • NRCC are statutory consultees on the planning application, BUT no consultation was ever carried out with anyone.
            NRCC are, according to their objection, fully against it. The underhanded dealings started eighteen months ago, but the application was only raised in January.

  10. “Steve
    on September 16, 2020 at 1:05 pm said:
    NRCC are statutory consultees on the planning application, BUT no consultation was ever carried out with anyone.
    NRCC are, according to their objection, fully against it. The underhanded dealings started eighteen months ago, but the application was only raised in January.“

    In fairness Steve this appears to be a theme…… from board member at CAB says above NICE didn’t consult CAB before pushing the Police station as an ( apparently unviable) option. Perhaps if people actually spoke to each other then progress could be made.

    • Doug,
      Definitely agree there, let’s start with the Councillors lettting their Community know what is going on behind closed doors. Openness Honesty and Transparency. The planners report states that there was no consultation.

  11. Can I confirm that Nairn River Community Council have had a formal application for a ‘site visit’ for planning committee members before next week’s South Planning Applications committee(SPAC) takes place, rejected by majority at the last SPAC
    The 2 Nairn Councillors on SPAC (Tom Heggie, and Laurie Fraser) voted against it .

  12. Doesn’t the fact that the planning application has been amended in light of concerns raised, indicate there has been consultation? People are being listened to? From what I can see, every point that has been raised has been addressed.
    Not an expert in these matters but I was impressed.

  13. Have you looked on Nairn CAB Facebook and Twitter. It shows the difference they make in the community. In the last year they helped Nairn clients get £1.9 million pounds. They employ 13 people, mostly part time, and have 40 volunteers. During the year a number of the volunteers moved into paid work or education because of the skills and experience they gained Through volunteering. Impressive!

  14. Have done your survey. I don’t know what the problem is with the new building. Town centre plan, that was agreed, shows a building on that site anyway (multipurpose) Why do the same people object to everything. I think that it will be an improvement as currently that car park area is an eyesore and where will the police go if citizen bureau moves there?

  15. I’m impressed by Nairn CABs real achievements. To bring that much money into the community in one year – what would they achieve with bigger offices? Sadly, I think more of us are going to need their help to get through this challenging time. Good luck to them and I hope they get the space they need to be able get more volunteers too. Great if it helps get people into jobs. I’m fairly new to the town, Has the organisation who is trying to block this happening, NICE, achieved much in comparison?

Comments are closed.