Discover more from Paul Oldham’s Newsletter
Year 2, Week 6
The Fire, private water supplies, the Local Place Plan, Nairn Academy ...
The fire at Harbour Street
I have been trying to keep people up to date about this via my Facebook page this week and this is probably the final update, for now at least, which came from officers on Thursday:
Works carried out by The Highland Council to make the area safe following a fire at a property in Harbour Street, Nairn have now been completed.
The Heras fencing barricade at the Harbour Street elevation can now be reduced in size and solid hoarding panels will now be delivered and erected.
The structural engineer has confirmed a 4m wide access can be provided on Harbour Street which will allow light goods vehicles, cars and pedestrian access to the harbour, restaurant, and promenade.
The vehicle carriageway will be 2.75m wide with “give and take” priority signage at each end. In addition, there will be a 1.2m pedestrian walkway. It is hoped vehicle access will be open by 2pm tomorrow afternoon (16 Jun 2023).
Works at the rear of the property will continue to remove debris and any risk to the public. All door and window access to the building will be closed off to prevent unauthorised access.
I confess I’ve not been down to check but I assume, based on the above, that Harbour Street is now re-opened and you can now drive to the Sun Dancer, sailing club, and the harbour car park.
It’s going to be a much longer process for the lives of the people involved to return to some kind of normal and, as I have been throughout this incident, I remain available to direct people on the direction of any help which they need.
Private water supplies
With the continuing lack of rain there is now an increasing threat to private water supplies. These are widely used in the Highland where there are over 2,700 private water supplies that serves a population of approximately 40,000, including in Nairnshire. These supplies are generally in rural areas where no treated mains water is available.
The Scottish Government has announced a Local Authority funded emergency water scheme for the supply of bottled water for drinking to domestic households where their private water supply has run dry and where users are unable to make alternative arrangements.
If this may affect you then this page has more information.
The Local Place Plan
This week I attended a meeting at the United Reform Church with many local groups and businesses, elected representatives, and officers of Highland Council where it looks like things are finally coming together to allow the area to create a Local Place Place which will indicate what the residents of Nairnshire would like to happen in the area in the future.
This is going to be lead by Nairn Improvement Community Enterprise, or NICE are they’re more commonly known, and you can expect to hear a lot more about this from them over the next few months, including at a stall at the bandstand on the Links on Games day.
Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete
Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) is a lightweight form of concrete and back in May 2019 an alert was issued after the sudden failure of roof panels in a school which turned out to be made of RAAC.
After that incident Highland Council identified two schools where RAAC components had been used in their construction: Charleston Academy in Inverness and Nairn Academy. At Nairn RAAC was identified in the external wall and roof construction of the original 1970’s blocks. These blocks have been subject to regular ongoing inspection by Consultant Structural Engineers since the original alert in 2019 with no RAAC component failure concerns noted.
However, following the publication of a DfE guidance document in December 2022, Highland Council’s Property Section are undertaking a more comprehensive assessment of the RAAC components which will be undertaken over the school summer holiday.
Progress on the new Academy
Of course the long term solution to the RAAC issue is the building of a new Academy.
I’ve talked before about my concerns with the delays on starting this and that no more Stakeholders meetings were being held until the outcome of the funding bid to the Scottish Government in respect of Phase 3 of the Learning Estate Investment Programme was known.
However it has now been agreed that an exception should be made for the Nairn project to allow Stakeholders to be updated on the current position. This meeting will advise on the design work that has been undertaken recently and on the key programme milestone dates. The meeting is due to take place on Wednesday, 28th June so I will report back in a fortnight, hopefully with some good news.