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Housing in the countryside under scrutiny following study

Press release   •   Oct 31, 2016 15:36 GMT

A report to Moray councillors tomorrow highlights a study which has found that new housing is threatening to overwhelm traditional buildings in rural settings.

The report identifies eight areas – Archiestown, Birnie, Craigellachie, Letterfourie, Miltonhill, Mosstowie, Rafford and Roseisle -where there is little or no scope for further development.

However, they are not alone and the report to Moray Council’s planning and regulatory services committee says there are other rural areas where build-up of new housing is an issue.

“The rate of new housing in the countryside has been significant and this threatens to merge the character of rural and urban areas,” says the report.

“In some of the study areas the degree of cumulative build-up has resulted in the landscape being changed so much that the rural environment could not be described as being of high quality.

“Significant change has occurred in the traditional settlement pattern and in some areas new houses are now so numerous and prominent they have imposed a more suburban character in the countryside, with the few traditional buildings in these areas comprising a minor feature.

“The density and increased size of new houses has resulted in them being prominent and overwhelming other landscape qualities.”

If approved by committee, the new draft guidance will be the subject of a 12-week consultation period and will be circulated to all agents, architects and developers who currently submit planning applications to the council.

Feedback on the consultation will be reported to councillors with a view to the finalised version of the guidance being adopted as a material consideration in determining applications for housing in the countryside.

Moray Council area stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Forres in the west. The council and its 4,500 employees respond to the needs of 95,510 residents in this beautiful part of Scotland, which nestles between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands.

Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live.

Headquartered in  Elgin, the administrative capital of Moray.

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