Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Anger after Scottish Government overturns two planning decisions in Moray in just two days

Artist impression of the Ferrylea development in Forres.
Artist impression of the Ferrylea development in Forres.

Scottish Government planning officials have been accused of “riding roughshod” over democracy after two planning decisions in Moray were overturned in two days.

The council’s planning committee had voted to throw out housing developments at Bain Avenue in Elgin and Ferrylea in Forres, which were both submitted by Springfield Properties.

Now Scottish Government officials have announced they want to reverse those decisions.

Yesterday Springfield explained the developments would contribute to affordable housing targets and expected construction at both sites to begin this year – while also pledging to work with councillors to reduce the need for appeals.

However, the move has attracted an angry response from Fochabers Lhanbryde councillor Marc Macrae, a former chairman of the council’s planning committee, who has accused the Holyrood reporters of ignoring local views.

He said: “Councillors made a democratic decision to refuse permission and whilst it is correct that an appeals process exists it is disappointing when we are ran roughshod over by external forces, bringing into question the actual need for elected members on such a committee.

“Time and time again across the north-east we see local authorities listening to the public, heeding communities, making informed decisions, only for these to be overturned by government in Edinburgh.”


>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The P&J newsletter


The application for 316 homes in the Forres plans would have taken the total amount on the site to 575 when included with previous developments – despite the council initially earmarking a capacity of 380 for the land in a masterplan.

Scottish Government reporter David Liddell agreed Springfield’s plans did not follow the blueprint but concluded their proposals were not “inappropriate”.

Meanwhile, the Elgin plans for 26 new affordable homes were backed due to their “much-needed” contribution to the affordable housing market despite nine objections from residents.

Springfield has described the Forres reversal as the “right decision”. Meanwhile, Tom Leggeat, the firm’s managing director for affordable housing, explained the Elgin development would help meet government targets.

He said: “The homes exceed building regulations and are energy efficient which keeps running costs low for tenants and is better for the environment.

“In addition to much needed affordable housing, the plans include an enhanced play area, a kick-about pitch, footpaths, tree planting and space for public art.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Scottish ministers are committed to seeing the right developments in the right place.

“The independent reporters fully considered all the evidence submitted by the planning authority, the appellant and other parties who made representations in relation to the proposed developments.”

Both decisions are subject to legal agreements being made between the council and Springfield for financial contributions towards local services.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]