Urban Animation is retained by Altyre Estate to provide a full range of planning and urban design services. A VISION document has been produced and this sets the context for all development, conservation estate management activities, reflecting the philosophy of the Estate.
There is development pressure at the north of the Estate, where Forres is expanding southwards. Urban Animation has prepared a draft master plan to guide growth at the south edge of Forres, including land affected by a major flood prevention scheme. Negotiations with Moray Flood Alleviation, a consortium of Moray Council, Royal Haskoning and Morrison Construction, successfully protected land from flood risk, allowing the master plan concept to emerge.
Forres has a rich Victorian legacy of urban parks. The master plan proposes a modern legacy by linking a community woodland with new open spaces, bringing designated flood plain into active use for sports, leisure and recreation. This new Country Park will link the countryside with the heart of Forres. Housing, community and commercial uses will flank the Park, benefiting from a quality landscape setting and open space.
An informal partnership with the Forres Community Woodlands Trust has delivered expansion of the woodland and popular mountain bike trails. Planning permission has been obtained for a public car park, composting toilets, a woodland shelter and two natural burial areas.
Planning permission has also been gained for housing on the site of the redundant Chapelton Farm buildings and a site for 40 houses has been allocated in the Local Plan. Further sites at Dallas Dhu are identified by Moray Council for housing development in the next Local Development Plan period. Detailed master plan work is now proceeding on these sites and the wider Country Park concept.
A major refurbishment project is pending for conversion of the Blairs Home Farm Steading to a business and conference centre, assisted by the Scottish Rural Development Programme. Planning permission has recently been granted for a new private access road to the steading.
The planning strategy for Altyre Estate has benefited from a clear vision, a long term outlook and committed key parties. Early phases have been implemented through a pragmatic approach, recognising stakeholder constraints without compromising the objectives of the VISION and master plan.