Springfield Properties has applied to reduce the size of a massive housing development in the south of Elgin – just days after the firm announced a fall in profits.
The housebuilder only received planning permission for the latest phase in its Elgin South vision, which could eventually stretch to 2,500 homes, in March.
However, the firm now wants to reduce the number of homes in the plans from 186 to 176, including reducing the number of affordable homes from 47 to 44.
When approval was given just six months ago, Springfield described the affordable homes as “much needed” in the area.
However, now it wants to focus on larger properties.
Challenging market conditions in Elgin for Springfield
Springfield has blamed an increase in building costs for its application to reduce the size of the development near Elgin Golf Club.
Just last week the firm announced the same issue had caused its pre-tax profits to fall by 22% to £15.3million.
In a letter to Moray Council, Stuart Morrison, Springfield’s north divisional land director, explained the market conditions means the company now wants to focus on larger family homes.
He wrote: “Since the inception of these proposals and the submission of the original planning application, the house building sector has experienced a significant increase in build costs and changes in market conditions which has made the delivery of projects significantly more challenging.
“Consequently, the Springfield Group has undertaken a detailed review of all its sites and, in respect of (this project), planning permission is sought to remix parts of the site which reflects strong advice from our sales and marketing teams who have identified significant, increased demand for larger family homes and much less demand for smaller homes and flatted properties in the area.”
Springfield has submitted a planning application to Moray Council to alter the development, which also includes reducing the number of retail units from three to one.
The revised proposals to reduce the latest Elgin South development still include a village square, new footpaths, tree planting and a mix of three and four-bedroom private homes and two-bedroom private flats.
Documents show the 44 affordable homes would be one and two-bedroom flats and ar range of two to five-bedroom houses.
The Elgin South development is already home to more than 400 families and is expected to eventually stretch to include Moray Sports Centre and Linkwood Primary School.
Related: Springfield reveals profits plunge