A housing development to support people with complex medical needs in Nairn was thrown out by Highland councillors yesterday.
Members of the south planning committee went to the site of the proposed 10-unit Albyn Housing development in Cawdor Road before making their decision.
They witnessed considerable noise from the neighbouring sawmill, and agreed that a 16ft high fence proposed to mitigate noise from the sawmill would be inadequate to reduce noise in the development.
They also raised concerns about the overshadowing caused by the fence, with the homes’ bedrooms unable to benefit from evening sunlight.
A group of relatives of patients in the neighbouring complex of Manor Care Homes also attended the site visit.
Group spokeswoman Elsie Watson said they were concerned about the loss of amenity for the residents of the homes, who suffer from neurological disorders and brain injury, and were not able to speak for themselves.
She said: “We weren’t consulted at all on the plans which would have severely compromised the safety, well being and security of the other residents.”
A motion by local councillors Laurie Fraser and Tom Heggie to refuse the development against planners’ recommendations went through unopposed.
Albyn’s programme co-ordinator Helen Cameron said she was disappointed at the outcome and would consider what to do next.
She said: “We worked very hard with the council to create what we felt was a very good offering.”