Wednesday, March 30th, 2016
The Moray Council have scrapped the proposals for the Elgin Western Link Road after a close vote in capital budget debate today (30/03). The move was triggered as part of a review of capital spending by the Council after it was revealed that the current spending plans were no longer viable.
The proposed link road would have added a further £8.2million expense to the already unsustainable budget had it been kept. After a strong debate, and lengthy recesses for legal advice, Councillors eventually threw out the proposals by 13 votes to 11.
“After 15 years and numerous changes it finally looks like the proposed Western Link Road has been dealt a fatal blow, and it’s one I wholeheartedly welcome,” stated James MacKessack-Leitch, Moray Greens Convenor, and long time Link Road opponent.
“Almost 18 months ago the Council threw the proposal out on planning grounds, it has now been thrown out on cost grounds too. It is clearly inconceivable that the proposed Western Link Road which failed on both these counts could reasonably be resurrected again – and I hope the Council will stick by the decision they have collectively made today.”
“In the context of the wider budget, this decision also frees up investment for many more worthwhile projects, and allows the Council to focus on what Moray actually needs.”
“The scrapping of the proposals at this time has come as a bit of a surprise – my fellow campaigners and I were already gearing up to fight the next planning application expected later this year – however, if this decision means that we can get on with our lives then it is truly welcome.”
“At this point I would also like to pay tribute to those I have campaigned alongside, from across the political spectrum, as well as the hundreds of ordinary folk from Moray and beyond who have marched with us, written in, and supported our efforts – if anything, this is a victory for determined people power, and without the support of the vast majority of the community it is unlikely we would have come so far.”
“I hope that now we can all move on from this chapter and work towards proportionate and lasting solutions for Elgin’s economic development and traffic management.”