Call for Council planners to be ‘honest and transparent’

Campaign objects to use of Halliman Way to access new homes

The campaign group seeking to halt using two quiet residential cul-de-sacs as the main access routes to a development of around 261 new homes and retail units is calling on Moray Council to be “honest and transparent”.

A spokeswoman for the Stop the Boyd Anderson Drive Access campaign has said that the transport manager at the local authority will raise no objection to plans that would see the introduction of traffic calming measures along Lossiemouth’s Boyd Anderson Drive.

Gillian Priestly lives on Fisher Place on which traffic calming measures would be introduced as well as using it and Halliman Way as access to the new Sunbank/Kinneddar development.

She said: “Moray Council has said the proposed traffic calming measures, while related to the development, are outside the development site on the public road, and would not in themselves require to be subject of specific neighbour notification under planning legislation.

“Because of this lack of notification most people are not even aware of the extent of these changes.

“We believe the Council should advertise and consult before deciding on these extensive traffic calming measures which affect a wide area of Lossiemouth not just people within 20 metres of the site.”

Ms Priestly added that the campaign group are correctly questioning if Moray Council are being “honest and transparent with the people of Moray”, adding: “It is a clear example of what people in Moray are complaining about – how the Council ignore people’s views on a variety of issues such as schools, libraries, the Elgin Approach Road and common good land in Forres.

“To date some of the Parliamentary Candidates for the General Election have cited opposition in their leaflets to the way that Moray Council ignore people’s views.”

“Devious Practice”

The group insist that Moray Council have denied community groups the opportunity to object to departure from the Local Plan, using advertising of such departures to gain their approval without any means of appeal.

Ms Priestly said: “Because this devious practice is being used by many Councils a national movement called ‘Planning Democracy’ are attempting to get the Scottish Government to allow appeals when a Council grants approval on any large application that is substantially contrary to the Local Plan, which this would be.

“We understand Planning Democracy have petitioned the Scottish Parliament to allow appeals against such approvals.”

Stop the B.A.D. say that they are expecting a report to be published “in days” by the Scottish Reporter giving a view on the issues surrounding the housing plans.

Ms Priestly added: “Planning Aid Scotland, a voluntary organisation formed to advise members of the public on contentious planning applications in their area, have also stated that the proposal to open up Halliman Way and Fisher Place to vehicular traffic is, in their opinion, totally unacceptable.

“We are calling on Moray Council not to deal with the application until the new Local Plan is received and they treat the people of Lossiemouth fairly, openly and with respect.  As far as we are aware no one in Lossiemouth supports the access to this new and very large housing development via the cul-de-sacs of Halliman Way and Fisher Place

“They should only grant permission for this housing as stated in the Existing Local Plan – that ‘Access shall be provided from the A941 and the B9135’.

“This is the clear view of the local community as expressed by the Lossiemouth Community Council and not just Stop the B.A.D. Access Group.”

A Moray Council spokesman said that the housing plans had been examined by officers and it was expected that the developers would explore further options at the planning stage, adding: “As a matter of policy Moray Council would not consult with the public regarding traffic calming measures, as they are not part of the site.

“There will be public consultation on detailed roadworks proposals when they are submitted.”