A vision to shape the future of Moray’s biggest town as part of a massive 2,500-home development has been approved.
Moray Council and Springfield Properties have been working on the blueprint for the south of Elgin for nearly two years.
The extensive proposals include two primary schools, a sports centre and cemetery as well as shops and medical facilities, which will be built over the next 20 years.
Now the masterplan has been approved by the authority it will become part of planning policy for future developments.
Draft proposals had already been approved by councillors before the final document was rubber-stamped this week.
Construction could begin later this year if the first phase of the proposals, which include Linkwood Primary School, the sports centre and 870 homes, are approved by the council next month.
Extra planning applications will need to be submitted before work on future phases can begin.
The massive development will be centred around three “villages”, entitled Linkwood, Easter Linkwood and Glassgreen.
However, traffic concerns persist about the gridlock that could ensue if access roads are not improved.
Elgin City South councillor John Divers has called for a connection between the A941 Rothes road and Linkwood Road to be built in the first phase of the plans.
He said: “We’re already seeing congestion in that part of the town, especially at the peak times.
“Having the access roads on the A941, Linkwood Road and Birnie Road is just pushing all the traffic in the one direction again, which gives me concerns.
“The area around Reiket Lane and Thornhill Road is already busy. We need to get traffic flowing right through this new development instead of the same places.”
An Elgin Transport Strategy is currently being finalised by Moray Council with the finished draft due to be presented in August.
Transport officer Diane Anderson explained the route across the housing estates would be built when it was needed and existing routes would be widened to cope with extra traffic.
She said: “The linkage from the A941 to Linkwood Road is part of the development as it proceeds forward, the trigger for it is indicatively 2030 at this stage.
“However, as each application comes forward the requirement for that will be assessed based on traffic flow at that time.”