Since 2011 Pitgaveny has been working on a detailed masterplan for a 112ha (270 acre) site to the north of Elgin, which stretches between the Lossiemouth Road and Duffus Road, and is bounded to the north by Findrassie Woods and agricultural land. It is allocated for 1500 houses along with associated leisure areas and a Primary School, as well as 12ha of employment uses to the east of Lossiemouth Road. A Masterplan has been developed in partnership with The Moray Council and has now been adopted as Supplementary Guidance. It will be used to assist the Council to maintain the quality of design during future planning applications.
The vision for Findrassie has been to create a landscape-based solution to Elgin’s housing requirements.
While there have been a number of recent developments in Elgin that have provided much needed housing within appropriate locations, the new networks of streets and neighbourhoods have not been supported by a strong landscape framework. At Findrassie the existing landscape and its qualities have been considered in great detail. This comprehensive appraisal of the site has then informed the vision for the site, and in turn the masterplan.
The integration of Findrassie Wood into the new neighbourhood will create a sense of place and identity from the outset. The masterplan establishes connection into the existing surrounding residential areas to ensure the development is integrated and can become part of the local community. The design also respects the existing tree planting and historical field pattern.
The landowner and design team are committed to delivering the best possible design for a new neighbourhood. Architecture + Design Scotland are supportive of the general concept and approach.
Pitgaveny’s aims are to:
- Greatly improve northern approaches to Elgin
- Merge countryside with built-up edge
- Deliver 1500 new houses
- Create jobs during construction phase and within the proposed employment area
- Create a new neighbourhood, with community facilities, which reflects the character and best features of Elgin
- Provide new footpath connections into Findrassie Wood, improving access to this important amenity and adding recreational value to the existing community and the new neighbourhood
- Create valuable and usable new open space in the heart of the new neighbourhood close to the historical approach to Spynie Palace from the West
The owners, and their partners, Moray Council, see Findrassie as setting a new standard to the development of land in Moray including higher standard of design than has been the case in much new build in Elgin. It is the shared view that this approach will drive best value for all parties in the Elgin market and Pitgaveny is determined to aim for as high a quality as can reasonably be achieved with developers who are equally committed to this goal.
Higher quality of design will be achieved through:
- Requiring the successful Developers to adhere strictly to the Masterplan.
- A “partnership” approach with the Developers, the Council and the Owners.
- A Design and Technical Review Process where regular meetings will be held with the First Phase Developer.
- The Moray Council’s Quality Audit Process.
- Adherence to The Moray Council’s Design policies.
- Potentially through Pitgaveny retaining ownership and management of the primary open space areas.