Moray Council begins search for design team for Forres development

MORAY Council has launched a search for a design team to create a vision for an accessible and affordable smart home development on the edge of Forres.

Tendering has opened for the design and delivery plan for phase one of the local authority’s Dallas Dhu masterplan. The design package features site phasing, infrastructure, and landscape design.

The work is part of Moray’s growth deal, and is being funded by Moray Council and The Scottish Government as part of its £7.5 million Housing Mix Delivery project to deliver up to 300 affordable homes across the region – including in Elgin, Speyside, and the Buckie coastal area.

At Dallas Dhu, together with Altyre Estate, Grampian Housing Association, and the Digital Health Care and Innovation Centre, Moray Council said it aims to deliver a net zero, sustainable place with multi-functional outdoor spaces to encourage physical activity and food-growing, and which benefits mental health.

In the pilot project’s first phase, 24 net zero homes are set to be built by 2026, using innovative design so that smart housing and communities can create a real-world environment to test digital health and care innovation to support people remaining independent in their own homes.

Councillor Marc Macrae said, “Moray Council is leading this first phase at Dallas Dhu by investing in the infrastructure and services needed to open up the site. We’ll enable the development of 20 serviced plots for innovative or self-building projects, and work closely to support housing provision for Grampian Housing Association.

“It’s an ambitious and exciting pilot project which offers an opportunity for Moray to lead in showcasing homes connected to digital health technology, with an important focus on transitioning to net zero.

“It’s hoped that, if we appoint designers in early 2023, all design work and permissions will be in place by summer 2024. This would allow 24 homes to be built by 2026, and Altyre Estate to continue work by developing further phases on the 18-hectare site.”