A leading developer has begun a bid to close a Forfar bypass turn-off on the A90 Dundee to Aberdeen dual carriageway.
Scotia Homes want to shut the Lochlands junction to northbound traffic turning right onto the A932 into Forfar.
Lochlands is the only junction on the bypass vehicles can cross which is not grade-separated.
Numerous fatal and serious accidents have occurred there since the bypass opened almost 40 years ago.
It has been the site of a variety of safety improvements down the years.
The Scotia plan has just been submitted to Angus Council.
It proposes removing the existing right turn lane to create a wider central reservation.
The move would make the A94 Glamis underpass the first opportunity for drivers to leave the A90 and head into Forfar.
Scotia said: “Following constructive discussions with the council, we have submitted a planning application regarding Lochlands junction.
“The proposed junction closure is designed to improve road safety in the area.
“We will be engaging in further discussions with both Angus Council and Transport Scotland as the application progresses.”
Why has Scotia Homes submitted the bypass bid?
Lochlands has emerged as a key consideration for future housing in the west of Forfar.
Scotia Homes is based in Aberdeenshire and has an office at Kingsmuir, just outside Forfar.
It is currently building homes at Glenview, the site of Forfar’s former guide dogs training centre.
And in June, the company submitted an application for almost 120 houses on land at Westfield.
But a rival developer’s scheme has already focused attention on the Lochlands issue.
Muir Homes has appealed the council’s refusal of permission for its site at Westfield to the Scottish Government.
Its 159-house scheme was rejected by councillors in April.
Safety fears about the junction were on the list of concerns.
At that time, Transport Scotland did not object to the Muir plan.
But that was on the basis of the council bringing forward a plan for Lochlands junction improvements before any more housing to the west of Forfar was approved.
Montrose councillor Bill Duff said then the situation was a “mess”.
“This developer will get off scot-free for developing this junction while others that come along later are going to have to pick up the tab,” he commented.
“If you get in first, you’re going to get on without having to pay for upgrading the road, that’s my biggest concern.
The Reporter dealing with the Muir case is due to inspect the site this week.
An appeal decision is likely to be issued by the end of the month or early November.
What happens now?
The consultation window for Scotia’s A90 application expires on October 27.
Council planners have set a determination deadline of mid-December.
Meanwhile, the company’s application for 117 houses at Westfield is still to be determined.