How amazing it would be if – instead of cutting into more of our countryside and farmland in Moray with houses and business parks – we actually utilize the “redundant” space that has fallen into disuse and disrepair.
Around Elgin, there are a number of sites – like the third picture, beside Edgar roundabout, which used to be a cattle auction site and now is sometimes taken over as a “flea market” – which are begging to be redeveloped. It’s so much better for the environment and the general appearance of our communities that buildings do not fall into disrepair and end up imprisoned behind metal barricades and ensnared in bureaucratic red tape. Even converting abandoned, unwanted land into allotments, looked after by community volunteers who take pride in growing fruit and veg, as well as enjoying much exercise would be an excellent step. Or possibly there’s scope to knock it all down and develop some high rise flats, which are closer to the city center, reducing people’s dependence on cars and giving Elgin’s shops a much-needed boost. Can you imagine how much better and brighter this site could be – with the right attitude…
Why does the national government and local authorities not provide significant financial incentives (i.e. tax breaks) which would incentives these “brown field” areas to be developed and regenerated over the more precious “green field” sites? Even making this – or the area opposite and pictured second into a properly managed wildlife reserve with a path going round and some benches could provide a great breathing place for Elgin, making our community more attractive to investors and improving our general well-being. Instead of waiting for more companies (like Sainsbury) to come to our rescue, maybe we need to take these spots into communal ownership first and make something of them. How many years can we hold out for the big guns and why would we want another supermarket anyway when we already have all the others (except Morrisons) here and readily available?
Just take time to look at these pictures and what improvements could be made. People are ready to volunteer – they just need leadership from our local Council. Let the wall be knocked down and the metal fence torn away to be replaced by something worth looking that doesn’t depress, but stimulates.