If you build it they will come – unfortunately, on roads we can’t afford

THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT has held out little hope for Moray Council’s plight as they face a bill that they say they cannot afford for new road builds feeding into housing developments.

Thousands of new homes are being planned for Moray – mainly in and around Elgin – with property firms set to begin building sites that have been in the planning stage for some time.

Almost 5000 new houses are being planned – but that, according to the leader of Moray Council, George Alexander, brings with it a massive bill that the local authority is in no position to pay.

It was established last year that the region required a £30million investment in roads to provide a safe and workable transport infrastructure feeding into the growing and new housing estates. Developers are obligated to cover the costs of much of those – however, Councillor Alexander says it will not be enough, and asking for more from the developers would make the projects unviable for them.

“We cannot simply stagnate,” Councillor Alexander said, adding: “We need to develop Elgin’s economy and we cannot do that without additional housing.”

Pointing to the rapidly increasing population in Moray as a desirable place in which people wish to live, the council leader said that the Scottish Government are pushing for more houses to be built – so it is the Scottish Government who need to fill the funding gap it brings to Moray.

He has called for urgent talks with the Scottish Government – but a Holyrood spokeswoman said that help had been given from Transport Scotland in developing the Moray transport strategy, adding that it was “up to individual councils to manage their budgets”.