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Moray Council urged to reveal current condition of St Giles Centre car park

The upper floors have been deemed "unsafe" while drivers are continuing to use the lower levels.

Gates across car park with sign saying "car park closed beyond this point".
Drivers have been unable to access the upper floors of the St Giles Centre car park for nearly two years. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

Moray Council has been urged to disclose details about the current condition of the St Giles Centre car park.

The upper four levels of the Elgin multi-storey have been shut since January 2022 on “public safety grounds”.

It is understood the issue is within the building’s concrete columns with cracks reportedly spotted before the closure.

Gates and railings were initially used to prevent access but more permanent wooden boards have since been erected.

Underpass leading to St Giles Centre car park in Elgin.
The St Giles Centre car park is the second largest in Elgin. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

However, no detailed report outlining the condition of the St Giles Centre car park has been made public.

Moray Council has now declined to release assessments on the condition of the car park as part of a freedom of information request, describing them as “commercially sensitive”.

However, they have stressed the building is routinely inspected and the lower levels remain safe.

What is future for St Giles Centre car park?

Nearly 200 spaces of the St Giles Centre car park are currently sealed off on safety grounds.

The closure also means there is currently no step-free access for wheelchair users from the lower levels that remain open to the neighbouring shopping centre.

A Moray Council meeting held in private early last year concluded repairs are not “value for money” and called for further options for the use of the site to be developed.

However, no proposals have been tabled to date.

Exterior of St Giles Centre car park.
The car park is in the centre of Elgin. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

Elgin Community Council chairman Alastair Kennedy believes details about the current condition of the car park should be made public.

He said: “Surely if the public are still using it then they have got a right to know what’s wrong with it.

“If the upper floors have been deemed unsafe and the lower floors haven’t, I think there needs to be an explanation.

“It makes you wonder where we are going to be in 10 years time with it. Is it going to be the same as it is now or is it going to have been demolished or repaired?”

Moray Council: ‘St Giles lower levels are safe’

The Press and Journal asked Moray Council for reports and assessments done on the condition of the St Giles Centre car park since the upper floors were closed as well as estimates on how much repairs will cost.

The local authority said the information was “commercially sensitive” and releasing the information could affect ongoing discussions.

However, a spokesperson stressed the building remained safe for the public to continue to use the lower levels.

A statement read: “We acknowledge there is a public interest in this structure and as such we can confirm the long term future of the structure is yet to be decided by the council.

“We can also advise that the structure is routinely inspected and the lower levels remains safe for public use.

There is sufficient parking for the public to use across Elgin to mean the part closure of this car park does not present immediate capacity concerns.”

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