Partnership approach pays off for Findrassie


Pitgaveny and Moray Council have been honoured for a masterplan to create a new neighbourhood on the northern edge of Elgin.

The Findrassie Masterplan came top in the Partnership category of The Scottish Government’s Scottish Award for Quality in Planning.

The team behind the Findrassie plan, comprising the owners of Pitgaveny and their planning and design team, led by Debbie Mackay of Savills, in partnership with Moray Council, followed a “careful and collaborative approach”, which also involved future generations of Elgin residents. 

Pitgaveny is a family-run farming business owned by brother and sister, Crinan Dunbar and Rebecca Russell.

Debbie Mackay, Savills rural planning director said, “The team behind the Findrassie Masterplan is very pleased to have won this award. The standard of entries was exceptionally high, which is a positive reflection of the excellent planning and development work being undertaken in Scotland.”

Head of Development Services for Moray Council, Jim Grant, added, “What is different about the approach taken at Findrassie is the way in which the widest possible partnership has been fully embedded in the project from the outset. Not only have the Council and Pitgaveny worked incredibly closely on this masterplan but a particular emphasis has been on engaging with younger people in our town, the ones who will most likely live within the 1500 house neighbourhood being created over the next 20 years at Findrassie”.

Joint owner at Pitgaveny, Rebecca Russell, said, “For many years now, we have hosted visits from school groups, mainly from Elgin Academy and its primary schools, to observe and learn about our farming and environmental practices here at Pitgaveny.  In recent years we have included visits and workshop sessions on the creation of a new neighbourhood at Findrassie. These included sessions on how houses and streets could be laid out, what kind of housing best suits the area’s needs, how people should move about, what schools and play parks might look like and what they should contain.”