Major step for Forres housing development this week

Masterplan for development to the south of Forres will take another step this week.

PLANNING FOR A MAJOR development of land at Mannachie and Dallas Dhu in Forres is expected to take a major step forward this week.

A report being placed before members of the Planning and Regulatory Services Committee tomorrow will seek agreement that a masterplan should go to public consultation over an eight-week period.

The plan has been prepared by the Altyre Estate who intent to sell the 22-acre site to the south of Forres for development. The Estate has worked with Moray Council in preparing the plan, which places an ‘indicative capacity’ of 150 new homes on the 22-hectare site.

In her submission to councillors, planning officer Emma Gordon explains: “The Masterplan adopts a landscape led approach and aims to achieve a successful transition from urban to rural character creating a high quality new edge to the settlement.

“The site has unique characteristics as much of the site cannot be built upon as it operates as flood storage for the Chapleton Dam, as part of the Forres (Burn of Mosset) Flood Alleviation Scheme.

“Almost half the site will remain undeveloped with many of the open spaces remaining in a natural state.”

The plan highlights an area of Dallas Dhu as being suitable for affordable housing: “This higher density character area is the location for affordable housing. The main feature of this character area is the tree lined street spine that runs through it and the Mannachy character area.

“One and two storey houses will be aligned along the street to create a strong building line. Off the spine road there are a series of courtyard arrangements with shared surfaces.”

The ‘Rural Edges’ of the proposed estate is being envisaged as suitable for larger detached homes, the report adding: “Housing will face out onto the surrounding landscape taking full advantage of the views.

“Buildings in this character area are grouped to reflect the traditional settlement pattern. There will be a variety of designs and opportunities for individually designed properties that are contemporary but reflective of traditional rural buildings and reference the distilling heritage of nearby Dallas Dhu Distillery.

“The draft Masterplan promotes the use of local timber and sustainable construction techniques.”

Should the committee agree and after the public consultation period, the masterplan will become supplementary guidance and a material consideration in determining any future planning applications for the site.

The draft masterplan can be downloaded here [PDF].