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Highland Life / News / Highland Council News / Council Identifies Preferred Bidder for Sandown Land, Nairn

Council Identifies Preferred Bidder for Sandown Land, Nairn

Issued: 22 Feb 2007

The eagerly-awaited development of farmland at Sandown on the western outskirts of Nairn took a major step forward today (Thursday) when The Highland Council revealed that it has identified a preferred bidder - in Deveron Homes.

At a special meeting, the Council's Nairnshire Area Committee was advised that submissions from prospective purchasers for the Nairn Common Good land had exceeded expectations. The Council had anticipated a top offer in the region of £14 million, subject to planning permission. This amount was exceeded by several of the bidders, including Deveron Homes.

The recommendation of the Nairnshire Area Committee will be reported to the full Council, as trustees of the Nairn Common Good Fund, for approval at its meeting on Thursday week (1 March).

The deal with Deveron Homes is subject to missives being concluded and planning consent being granted for the development, which comprises predominately housing and includes a business park and wetland feature.

Provost Sandy Park, Chairman of the Council's Nairnshire Area Committee, is thrilled with the market's response to the sale of the 35-hectare site, which lies on either side of the A 96 Inverness ~ Nairn road, half a mile west of Nairn. The offers received for Sandown were beyond his expectations and demonstrated the buoyancy of the housing market at this time.

He said: "The proceeds from the sale of Sandown Lands have always been at the heart of our plans for the redevelopment of the town and the response from the market is terrific news for the people of Nairn and local businesses. The interest alone from the capital would help fund a number of eagerly-awaited projects in the town.

"We are delighted to have selected Deveron Homes as our preferred bidder. Not only was their bid the highest but it meets the development brief for Sandown.

"The prospect of new housing at Sandown, allied to other developments on the A 96 Corridor, must give the town great confidence for the future."

The Council has begun the redevelopment of the town centre with a new community centre, which is under construction. And it hopes that this will act as a catalyst for further redevelopment in the town centre, most notably a new supermarket.

Until the deal is sealed, the Council cannot reveal the extent of the bid tabled by Deveron Homes.

Welcoming the announcement, Managing Director Gordon Ramsay said: "This is a great opportunity for us and will enable us to participate actively in the success of the Sandown project. We are keenly aware of the urgent need for quality housing and job creation in the Highlands and our proposals demonstrate our commitment to ensuring these needs are satisfied. The past year has been very significant for Deveron Homes, with continued development of our ongoing sites, the twin launch of Deveron Park development in our home town of Huntly and AURORA apartments in Aberdeen and new developments due to come on-stream in Fife, Inverness, Kemnay and Peterhead."

The Sandown project will be developed as a joint venture between Deveron Homes and Maidencraig Investments, acting on behalf of Sir Tom Farmer, who is supporting the project as a strategic partner.

Mr Ramsay added: "We are delighted to be working with the Highland Council and the Nairnshire Committee to bring to reality this strategically important development. Sandown is set to have a major impact on Nairn with the potential to improve the local economy by millions of pounds. We are proud that Deveron Homes will play a key role in the project and we look forward to rolling-out our ambitious plans."

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