Concerns sparked by speculative compulsory purchase letters

CONCERN IS BEING EXPRESSED over Moray residents who have been receiving speculative letters from businesses suggesting their homes may be subjected to compulsory purchase orders.

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead has been approached by constituents over the letters that appear to be seeking to cash in on fears over the route taken by the new A96 project.

The issue was raised with the MSP when he attended the Elgin Town Hall this week at the exhibition of options for the road. People raising their concerns were clearly upset and alarmed at receiving letters, which suggested their home was under threat.

Mr Lochhead sought the assurances of Transport Scotland officials that the letters had nothing to do with the project but were speculative from companies seeking to gather custom. Transport Scotland made it clear that no decision over the route of the dualled road would be taken until next year – so any discussion on compulsory purchases were premature.

“Understandably, residents are alarmed and upset after receiving out of the blue letters suggesting their homes may be compulsory purchased,” the MSP said, adding: “Transport Scotland has made it absolutely clear that no decision about the route of the dualled A96 will be taken until 2018 at the earliest, following extensive consultation with local residents, businesses and community groups.

“Letters of this nature have clearly caused a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety to householders in Moray and I would urge businesses to take a more sensitive approach going forward.

“The key message for any of my constituents who may have received a letter like this, is that these letters are not coming from anyone involved in the project and that talk of these issues is totally premature given the route will not be decided for at least another year yet.”