Moray councillors today approved a draft strategy to help protect and promote open space.
This includes public parks, play spaces, sports areas, woodland and green corridors.
The draft will be the subject of an eight-week public consultation from next Monday, March 6 before returning to elected members for final approval. Thereafter it will become a material consideration in determining planning applications.
Once finalised, the document will provide a strategic vision for the provision, development, maintenance and management of open space across Moray, with the exception of the area covered by the Cairngorms National Park.
The strategy will be used by the council when making planning decisions which impact on open space and by developers to guide the provision of open space in new developments.
Among its aims are the protection of open spaces from inappropriate development and greater community involvement in improving and managing open spaces.
Scottish Planning Policy already requires planning authorities to protect, enhance and promote green infrastructure.
An audit of Moray’s main centres of population has found that over 90% of homes are within 400 metres of an open space.
As part of the consultation community councils and other relevant groups will be offered the chance to discuss the draft strategy with council officers.
Copies of the document will be available on the Moray Council website and at libraries and access points and it is also proposed to stage a drop-in session at Elgin library on Tuesday, March 21.
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.