THIS 7KM LONG ROAD BYPASS SCHEME WAS FIRST CONSIDERED OVER 40 YEARS AGO AND WAS FINALLY OPENED IN SPRING 2012. A FULL ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF OPTIONS TO BY-PASS THE COMMUNITIES OF FOCHABERS AND MOSSTODLOCH WAS UNDERTAKEN.
The locality is environmentally sensitive with Fochabers itself an Outstanding Conservation Area. Options considered involved traversing the Spey Valley, designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV). The alternative and chosen route was through the landscape of the Gordon Castle Estate which is included in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland. Extensive mitigation was implemented to address visual and noise issues in the form of new stone estate walls, false crests and acoustic barriers. Extensive planting for biodiversity value enriches the road corridor and significant mitigation for badgers incorporated.