Published: 08/03/2018 09:44 - Updated: 08/03/2018 09:53

Plan for a new town

Council logoHOW do you feel about the proposal for a new town between Forres and Elgin?

What about another 250 local homes to help deal with the shortage of 3000 council houses in Moray?

Where should 30 acres of land needed for local industrial development in our area be?

Do we really need a new primary school or extensions to the Academy or Health and Care Centre?

These proposals and more will be set-out at the Moray Council planning exhibition in Forres Town Hall from 2-8pm on Thursday, March 8.

Council leader George Alexander is urging the community to have your say in the Local Development Plan.

He said: “The Main Issues Report and the Core Paths Review will be available for scrutiny. People will be able to see where land has been zoned. The Core Paths Review will reveal where they already exist and where others are proposed. This is your chance to influence the final decisions on these matters before the Local Development Plan is drafted.”

The new plan is to be adopted before the end of July, 2020 as current planning legislation requires it to be reviewed and replaced within five years of adoption, ensuring it is kept up-to-date and relevant to current land use planning issues.

The Main Issues Report available at the exhibition and online at highlights what issues are affecting Moray’s towns and villages over the next 10-15 years.

These include: how we will meet our housing needs; provide more affordable homes; integrate communities better; provide more land for new and expanding businesses and create more employment opportunities; safeguard our environment; promote biodiversity and create better green spaces.

The report has an emphasis on developing better places for people to live, work and enjoy, and recognises that good quality places maintain and improve the quality of life we enjoy in Moray.

The report also encourages discussion about the wider benefits planning can bring, how we can plan for our ageing population and future healthcare requirements, and encourage less use of cars in favour of walking and cycling.

Future infrastructure needs, including transportation services and road improvements are also up for debate.

Local councillor Claire Feaver has pre-empted the exhibition over the last few weeks, delivering leaflets seeking feedback.

She said: “People really value our existing green spaces and they do not wish to see them developed.

“More than one person has suggested that new facilities should be incorporated into some of the many new housing developments rather than encroaching on to established open areas in town.”

However, she still wants as many people as possible to attend.

She added: “Come down and talk to the planners, I know they value dialogue.

“Learn more about what is being proposed for our town and, perhaps more importantly, say what you think should happen.”

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