A massive housing development, which will transform a Moray town, could also lay the foundations for future Olympic success.
New 3D images of the future of south Elgin have been released by Springfield Properties after the firm submitted final drawings for the first phase of their civic masterplan.
If approved, construction could begin on 870 homes and a £12million sport centre as early as next year with space for shops, eateries and businesses also included.
Sites for two new schools have also been proposed, with the newly-christened Linkwood School due to be the first to open its doors in 2018 after moving from its temporary home at East End.
Innes Smith, managing director of Springfield Properties, said he was excited that the development could also nurture a new generation of sporting talent.
He added: “There has understandably been lots of hype in the community regarding the sports centre.
“Our current Olympic success is in part due to the investment in infrastructure to encourage young athletes. The Olympic legacy will inspire future athletes and Moray Sports Centre could see some of this talent coming through.”
If approved, the development will herald a new village being built south of the Linkwood Burn on both sides of Linkwood Road. The neighbouring sports centre and school are proposed for the west side of the thoroughfare with room for businesses on the east in the heart of the new Easter Linkwood village.
Outdoor tennis courts, running track and artificial pitches are included in the sports centre vision to inspire the next generation to follow double Olympic gold medal winner Heather Stanning.
A quarter of the houses have been classed as “affordable” with a mix of two and three-storey semi-detached and terraced homes along the main streets. Smaller individual properties have been planned for the woodland edges.
Construction on the sport centre, Linkwood School and affordable homes is expected to get underway first, early next year, with work on the remaining houses dependent on the property market.
A smaller site between the A941 and Elgin Golf Club, where the second school and 130 houses have been proposed, has also been submitted as part of the extensive proposals.
The rest of the 506-acre blueprint for a further 1,700 houses to create the new Linkwood and Glassgreen villages is expected to be built over the next 20 years.
NHS Grampian has already identified the need for a new doctor’s surgery in the area to cope with the booming population. Springfield Properties expects dentists and pharmacies will also follow.
More than 100 people had their say about the plans at a public exhibition in May during a two-month consultation about the development.
Elgin City South councillor John Divers has already seen the town radically transformed over the last decade.
He said: “Once all the houses have been built, about 4,000 homes will have been added to this side of Elgin in the last 10 years, that’s probably about the size of Lossiemouth.
“It’s going to have a significant effect on the area. One issue I have raised is the effect it will have on the roads, especially with the new school and if the new sports centre is busy, which I hope it will be.
“There’s going to be a vast increase in traffic in the area and I am sure the council will be having discussions with Springfield about it.”
A network of paths to encourage walkers, cyclists and horse riders has been woven into the woodland and riverside landscape.
A central park in Easter Linkwood has been identified as potentially housing a bowling green and sport pitches.
Mr Divers added: “It’s great to see so much development in Elgin. It shows it’s a popular place to live and work.”