Campaigners fighting against plans for the £8.5million link road into Elgin insist that their failure to secure backing from the local community council is “not insurmountable”.
A majority of members at the Elgin Community Council have confirmed in writing to the Elgin Designing Better Streets action group that they could not support their campaign against plans for the Western Link Road and would not be lodging an objection to planning consent.
Comments on planning documents being considered by Moray Council are set to close on May 27 with over 200 people already having lodged their objections or support for the controversial scheme, which seeks to link the Edgar Road retail park with the A96.
Hope that support for the campaign would come from the community council were dashed in a formal letter which said: “When the plans went out for consultation there followed a public outcry, mostly from residents that stay along the proposed route.
“We were verbally asked to support their campaign against the proposals. As a body which represents the whole of Elgin, our members believed that we were obliged by our constitution to reflect the views of all residents across our area, and felt unable to participate as a group.
“We have had practically no representations of opposition to the route from other parts of Elgin, despite conversing over the period with as many residents of these areas as possible and meetings being open to public attendance.
“Having examined the application, we find no areas of relevant planning conditions that require an official objection to be launched.”
One member of the community council, Jim Wiseman, has also had a leading role in opposition to the link road proposals.
He accepted the “democratically arrived at” view of his colleagues on the community council, adding: “I am disappointed that it did not do more to reflect the huge concerns of the very many people living along the route. It is a blow but it is not insurmountable.”