Fears housing plan could be latest proposal to be thwarted for Moray mart site

Elgin Community Council chairman Alistair Kennedy at the former mart on Linkwood Road.
Elgin Community Council chairman Alistair Kennedy at the former mart on Linkwood Road.

The latest bid to breathe fresh life into a wasteland in Moray’s biggest town could be about to be thwarted.

Sainsbury’s tried for a decade to bring a supermarket to the former mart on Linkwood Road in New Elgin – eventually giving up due to being unable to resolve drainage issues.

Now the same problem could be about to halt Aberdeen and Northern Estates’ plans to transform the area for more than 100 houses and a restaurant.

Moray Council has recommended that the proposals be thrown out due to the lack of information about the flooding risk on the site.

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Sepa has also objected to the plans due to concerns that the housing could increase the flood risk from the Tyock Burn to homes already bordering the site.

The fate of the scheme, which initially included a care home before it was scrapped due to flooding fears, will be decided next week by councillors after 25 objections from locals were lodged.

Yesterday Alistair Kennedy, chairman of Elgin Community Council, explained it was imperative to find some use for the abandoned land.

He said: “There have been a few proposals for that bit of land now.

“It’s just lying there doing nothing at the moment so it would be good if some sort of development could be found to make use of it.

“That whole area, including the site across the road from it, isn’t very bonny at the moment. Both of them could do with some development to make them more presentable.”

Aberdeen and Northern Estates have proposed to knock down the existing mart building to make way for the restaurant.

The current proposals are for planning permission in principal with only an indicative design of how the 101 homes, which would include 67 houses and 34 flats, would be arranged.

The Health and Safety Executive has also expressed concerns about the housing scheme – requesting a condition that no more than 30 homes are built on the site due to the proximity of the Gleaner Oils premises.

Moray Council’s planning committee will meet on Tuesday to debate the proposals.

In a report, planning officers explain: “Although required, a detailed flood risk assessment has not been provided and insufficient information is provided about the arrangements to manage and mitigate the risk of flooding.”