Legal argument on Lossiemouth access route is flawed

Fisher Place

Campaigners who are battling to halt plans to use two quiet cul-de-sacs for access to a new housing development in Moray are insisting that legal arguments being used by Council planners are wrong.

Stop the B.A.D Access Group were formed to campaign against changes to a proposed development in Lossiemouth that would see traffic routed through two quite cul-de-sacs in the town.

The group are seeking a change to the Moray Local Plan that gives provision for Fisher Place and Halliman Way to be used as access for the new development on the grounds that the changes were ordered by Moray Council because of what they insist was a misguided belief that they had to do so under Scottish Government guidelines.

Stop the B.A.D are also highlighting how three local councillors had been misinformed over a legal requirement for the access to be provided. The group also understand that the Scottish Government need to be informed of the changes because they involve the use of council-owned land.

The group say that local Councillors John Cowe, Chris Tuke and Eric McGillivary stated at a meeting of Lossiemouth Community Council that vehicular access from the proposed housing development at Sunbank/Kinneddar to Boyd Anderson Drive was required by law to comply with a Scottish Government Policy document Designing Streets, published in 2010.

However, group member John Hamilton said: “We have written proof the Councillors were misinformed on that requirement.

“We are also concerned that The Moray Council forwarded our complaints to the Reporter with minimal consideration, including a petition, and we are aware from press reports that we are not the only people unhappy with their actions in forwarding the Proposed Plan without first trying to reach a consensus on a whole range of objections to different issues.”

Mr Hamilton continued: “We have had good help and suggestions from officers of the Council and Richard Lochhead MSP, including advice to contact Planning Aid for Scotland, a voluntary organisation formed to advise the public on planning matters.

“It is the case that the applicant would require the purchase of a strip of land from the Council to make connection to Boyd Anderson Drive. These strips are known as ‘ransom strips’ as they can command a considerable high price.

“We believe under procedures involving Council owned land this application should be notified to the Scottish Government.”

Group spokeswoman Gillian Priestley added: “There is no support for the policy of vehicular access on to Boyd Anderson Drive – footpaths and cycle access are a far better option commanding support from Lossiemouth Community Council and meet the objectives of “Designing Streets” in a more appropriate way.

“It is particularly bad that many of those whose amenity will be destroyed have either bought their plots/houses from The Moray Council and were assured at the time of purchase that vehicular access would not occur.”

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