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Plans to build new homes at Bilbohall in Elgin approved in efforts to reduce house waiting list

An artist impression of the Bilbohall development.
An artist impression of the Bilbohall development.

Plans to build hundreds of homes in Moray’s biggest town have been approved in a bid to reduce the 3,500-strong waiting list in the region.

The Bilbohall site in Elgin has been discussed for more than a decade and was initially part of the aborted Western Link Road project.

Plans for 200 homes first proposed more than a decade ago submitted for Moray town

Now the planning committee has approved Moray Council and Grampian Housing Association’s development with up to 200 affordable properties on the site that runs to the south of the railway line near Elgin High School.

This development will be will be built in four phases, starting on land nearest the school.

While part of the second phase will also include the construction of a “care village” comprising of 10 semi-detached bungalows plus 12 two- storey terraced properties set around a courtyard to provide accommodation for those with learning difficulties.

Looking south over the railway line from Wards Road, Elgin, towards the area for the Bilbohall Development.

The major development includes making Wards Road one-way so that traffic can only travel westwards along it.

In addition, it involves installing traffic lights over the narrow bridge that crosses over the railway line on Mayne Road.

Architects Collective Architecture have also included infrastructure for dedicated cycling routes as well as .

The approval signals a key milestone in the Bilbohall masterplan, which was revised in 2018 and was identified in the Moray Local Development Plan as having the potential to play an important role in the sustainable expansion of Elgin.

Councillor Aaron Mclean,welcomed the housing development, adding:”It’s great to see this coming forward.

“We all know that affordable housing is well needed in Moray.”

Concerns raised over impact on wetlands

But Elgin South councillor Ray McLean raised concerns about the development’s impact on the wetlands nearby.

Planning officers reassured councillors that there will be a ‘green corridor’ to connect the area with the wider countryside on the edge of town.

Mr McLean said: “I used to live here and would walk my dog twice a day in the area.

“It was wonderful to see the wildlife. Sometimes you would even see deer.”

“I accept that the wetlands are being protected but they are not much use if animals can’t get to them.”

However, councillors voted six to four in favour of the proposals.

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