Government planners back Elgin link road proposals

Elgin western link roadThe proposed Elgin western link road has been backed by the Scottish Government’s senior planning experts.

The project is part of Moray Council’s emerging Local Development Plan, the blueprint for the area’s development over the next five years, and has been examined by three Scottish Government planning reporters.

The reporters studied proposals within the Local Development Plan and considered unresolved objections to particular development aims of the council. Any recommendations they make are binding upon the council.

The reporters have recognised that these road improvements are necessary to facilitate the Local Development Plan strategy, particularly the extent of proposed housing on the south of Elgin. In their report, they conclude that the principle of the proposed link road is established through the current Moray Local Development Plan, and that there is nothing to suggest that circumstances have changed to an extent which would justify its deletion from the new one.

It states: “Indeed, the proposed plan makes it clear that this remains a necessary component of the strategy to ensure that the traffic impact of proposed development on this side of town is appropriately mitigated.

“The link is considered necessary over and above the separate proposals to dual and upgrade the A96 which is being progressed under the auspices of the Scottish Government. The devaluation of property, whilst understandably a concern to neighbouring residents, is not a valid planning consideration.”

Leader of Moray Council, Cllr Stewart Cree, welcomed the reporters’ findings.

He said: “This independent assessment confirms my view that a new railway crossing and the associated link road is vital to manage increasing traffic numbers.

“The Scottish Government reporters are required to take an objective view on all planning matters, and I welcome their support for retaining the link road project in the Local Development Plan.”

The examination report on the emerging Moray Local Development Plan has been prepared by three reporters appointed by Scottish Ministers to consider the 714 unresolved representations made to the Local Development Plan.

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