Council planners determine that trees have to go for housing

Councillors being advised to approve removal of trees for 16 ‘affordable’ homes.

MORAY PLANNERS WILL seek a solution to a hotly-disputed plan that would see dozens of native pine trees being chopped down to make way for new homes in Elgin.

Springfield Properties have submitted plans for 16 homes at Waulkmill Grove – but need to chop down the trees to make room for their development.

However, their proposals would be a material departure from the Moray Development Plan – and so objectors are being given an opportunity to have their say in the council chamber at a special meeting of the planning committee on March 17.

Springfield wish to build 12 ‘affordable homes’ on the site alongside four flats, but their plan attracted 11 objections for neighbours at the proposed site. Councillors had previously already given permission to remove the trees, saying that they posed risks to people and homes on the estate which would now benefit from fresh planting.

Planning officials have recommended acceptance of the proposals and provided reasons why several objections should not change that recommendation.

Springfield have welcomed the recommendation, with their land manager Kenny Shand saying: “We welcome the planning report recommending approval of two, three and four-bedroom homes just off Stonecross in Elgin.

“These 16 homes will provide additional affordable housing in Moray. The development has been planned in a residential pocket on the edge of Elgin with local shops, healthcare facilities and access to bus and rail routes.”