SNP and Tory councillors join in leading development rejection

COUNCILLORS HAVE DRAWN a red line through proposals to create an affordable housing project in the Waulkmill Grove area of Elgin.

Springfield Properties had sought permission to build 16 homes – but controversially that would have meant having to fell an area of mature pine trees.

As a result the application attracted objections for a number of close residents, some of who address a special meeting of the council’s planning and regulatory services committee on Friday morning. Many pointed out that as well as felling the trees a children’s play area would need to be removed.

There were also a number of additional concerns raised over loss of amenity, over-development of the site, parking and road safety.

While planning officers recommended approval of the application, saying that clear felling the trees and developing the site for low-density affordable housing “would create a safe and welcoming area that would benefit both existing residents and occupants of the new housing”.

However, SNP councillor Graham Leadbitter was seconded by Tory councillor Douglas Ross in moving that the plan be refused on the grounds that the benefits of the development would not outweigh the value of the existing green space. They added that it was not an acceptable departure from the site’s environmental designation.

There was no counter proposal and the application was consequently rejected.