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Moray's most valued landscapes could receive a boost with special status

Press release   •   Sep 25, 2018 16:22 BST

MORE than a dozen areas in Moray could be given a special status to boost the region’s most valued landscapes.

New Special Landscape Areas (SLAs) have been identified by Moray Council and could receive the classification designed to protect and enhance the special character and quality of these areas, as well as promote a greater understanding of them.

Areas selected include the Spey Valley, the Lossiemouth to Portgordon Coast, Cluny Hill and Quarrelwood, following a landscape review with expert advice from Scottish Natural Heritage, archaeologists and planning officers.

Now members of the public are invited to have their say on each of the 13 candidate areas, including proposed boundaries and whether settlements should be included.

Chair of Moray Council’s Planning & Regulatory Services Committee, Cllr David Bremner, said the views of residents, visitors and businesses would all be valuable during this consultation.

“The current Areas of Great Landscape Value designation has very limited value in planning terms and Moray’s landscape is under considerable pressure from national and regional infrastructure projects, settlement expansion and housing in the countryside.

“Feedback from this consultation will be used to determine the final SLAs that will be included in the proposed plan, which councillors will consider at the Planning & Regulatory Services Committee in December.”

A public drop-in exhibition will be held on Tuesday 23 October between 4 - 8pm in The Inkwell, Francis Place, Elgin, and is open to all who want to find out more about the local landscape designation review.

The consultation is now available on Moray Council’s website ( and closes on Friday 2 November. Responses can be made via the online form by email to or in writing to Local Development Plan, Development Services, Moray Council, Council Offices, High Street, Elgin, IV30 1BX.

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. Nestling between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands, Moray stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Brodie Castle in the west.  

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