Forres community councillors have vowed not to give up on their fight to halt plans to create a new industrial estate overlooking Findhorn Bay.
The community representatives reacted after Scottish Government reporters gave their backing to Moray Council plans to create the new development at Springfield East.
When the proposal was first put forward as part of the Local Development Plan it had drawn around 200 objections – but the support from reporters for developing the 24-acre site has dismissed fears that it would damage tourism in the area.
Among groups and individuals who have objected to the proposed development – to be sited between the Findhorn Road and the rail line at Cassieford – was the Forres Community Council.
“Local people always know better and care more about their community that outsiders,” community council chairman Stewart Noble said, adding: “This is a crazy decision by the Scottish Government.
“Forres is a tourist attraction and we’ve got to hold onto that, we do not want the first thing people see when they enter the town to be industrial sheds. Our next meeting is on May 21 and I urge local people who oppose this plan to join us at the Tolbooth and make their voices heard.”
The Reporters decision was based on economic benefits to Moray outweighing loss of tourism to the area, a sentiment supported by local independent councillor George Alexander who told the P&J: “Moray Council needs to create a certain area of employment land in Forres as required by the government.
“While the report has approved the site at Springfield East there is still hope we will be able to develop more at Waterford. Personally I hope the Springfield area can avoid the majority of those upcoming developments – but that does not mean it will never be built upon.”