Sunday, 11 September 2011

"Growth will include, for example, a longer rush hour, coupled with increased demands for school places, parking and accommodation."

Stewart Nicol's utterly defeatist comments in the Courier about the growth of Inverness.

Who's this Nicol guy when he's at home I hear you wonder.

He's no less than the Chief Exec of Inverness Chamber of Commerce.

He goes on to say: "These are growing pains which we will have to embrace if we want to benefit from a healthier economy, better lifestyle and increased employment opportunities for all."

Sorry Stewart if I sound like Lord Cynical of Doubtful-on-Sea but what a depressing vision you have.

Basically the message is: put up with congestion and lack of affordable housing because in the long run we'll all have lots of out of town supermarkets we can drive to, which is convenient because stacking shelves to make profits for big business will be the core of the economy.

His bizarre view is prompted by criticism of comments he made when Highland Council deferred a decision on plans for the new UHI campus at Beechwood amid public concerns over road congestion. The campus is yet another Inverness development that is unsustainable and lacks the long-term view. Yes the UHI will be good for the region but why the heck doesn't it include a railway station? The main line into Inverness goes straight through the site.

The only bunch I'm aware that has been calling for this logical joined up approach is, surprise surprise, the Greens.

Yes, let's develop Inverness but please can we lift our ambition a bit higher than "grin and bear it".

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