Elgin’s controversial multi-million pound link road plans took a major step forward on Tuesday when the first steps towards formal planning permission was published.
Campaigners vowed to further raise their own oppositon to the proposals which it is claimed are needed to “ease congestion an link up the town”.
However, at a cost of ovr eight million pounds at a time when Libraries are being closed and services throughout Moray are facing severe cuts oppositon to the plan seems set to intensify.
One of the most outspoken campaigners, Caroline Webster from the Designing Streets Action Group, insisted that the scheme is based on “out of date information”.
She said: “The supposed need for the link road is based on information from before the Scottish Government announced it would be dualling the A96. People in Moray have had to make huge sacrifices in terms of services due to recent cost-cutting measures.
“Why then are we now spending millions on a road that hardly anybody seems to want?”
Local councillor Barry Jarvis insists that the road plans must go ahead. He said: “It is the last piece of the jigsaw and is needed to ease congestion in Elgin.
“People talk about a bypass but it will be years before spades are put into the ground while studies suggest that a bypass will only reduce traffic figures in the town by one-fifth.”
Planning proposals published online by Moray Council amount to almost 80 individual documents headed by a 378=page report. A spokesman for the local authority said: “As befits a project of this magnitude and importance the suite of documents which makes up the application contain a huge amount of detail.
“The link road plans have been modified following extensive public consultation.”
The Designing Better Streets Action Group now plans to hold a public meeting in two weeks time to discuss the latest developments, when a list of objections will also be drawn up. Members of the public can also lodge their own comments on the planning application online, by email or in writing with a dealine of May 8 having been set.