A house builder has won an appeal to the Scottish Government to cover part of an Elgin play park with new homes.
Moray Council refused the plans for 12 affordable houses and four blocks of flats for the town’s Bain Avenue after nine objections were submitted about the loss of green space.
Springfield Properties had argued the play equipment would be moved to remaining grassed area while stressing the need for the affordable homes in Elgin.
The Scottish Government had already confirmed it would overturn the council’s decision to grant planning permission pending a legal agreement being made with the housing developer.
Now it has been announced the firm will contribute £169,000 to local healthcare facilities and the under-construction Linkwood Primary School.
While finalising his decision, Scottish Government reporter Philip Barton concluded the new homes would improve the local area – explaining he could see no evidence of the park being used for sporting activities.
He wrote: “The proposal includes the replacement of the site’s acknowledged best feature – the play park.
“It would also provide for a properly laid-out kick-about pitch, new permanent paths, new street furniture, public art and a significant number of new trees and other areas of planting.
“All of these features would represent a significant improvement over the current situation.
“Consequently, although the total amount of allocated amenity greenspace would be reduced, the functionality of the remaining land would be substantially improved.”