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New car park on North Road Forres planned for Varis Court sheltered housing complex

By Garry McCartney

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The proposed site plan.
The proposed site plan.

AN old bus depot in the centre of Forres is being re-opened as a car park for staff at a local sheltered housing complex.

Ownership of the site on North Road across from the public car park on Gordon Street was transferred from Mosset Court owners, Cairn Housing Association, to Varis Court's owners, Hanover Housing Association (HHA) in 2018.

The waste ground is across the road from Varis Court.
The waste ground is across the road from Varis Court.

Varis Court is a purpose-built development with services for older people including dementia and extra Care facilities developed by Hanover in partnership with Health and Social Care Moray and Moray Council.

The development has 33 flats with additional communal facilities including two courtyards. A team of staff on site assist residents with meals and extra care depending on tenancy requirements.

A HHA spokesman said: "The Scottish Government approved the land transfer as the land was financially unviable for the purpose of housing.

"Additional parking spaces for health professionals/staff at the development can be delivered on this vacant site. It will provide 10 additional parking bays with a secure entrance."

HHA also confirmed that the space will be resurfaced.

Moray Councillor Aaron McLean (Forres, SNP) believes the new car park will alleviate current parking pressure around Varis Court on North Road, Leask Road and North Street.

He added: "I remember the space was a bus depot but it may have been used by the council during construction of the flood alleviation scheme or as a town council yard before it was a bus depot."

Fellow local councillor, Lorna Creswell BEM, also recognises the site's potential.

She said: "It will help alleviate congestion for staff and visitors to Varis court but drivers need to be cautious as the narrow road leading to the Mosset must be approached cautiously."

The former bus depot and council yard at the bottom of North Road.
The former bus depot and council yard at the bottom of North Road.

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