Moray MP Douglas Ross has raised concerns with the local council over a decision to allow the development of nine new houses near Pluscarden Abbey.
Moray Council’s planning committee unanimously granted permission last week despite one hundred objections.
The plans were revised from an original application for 12 homes on a site about one hundred yards from the monastery.
The Category A-listed building dates to the 13th century and is home to a Benedictine order of monks.
Mr Ross has been contacted by the monks and by residents about the impact the scheme will have on the 'peace and tranquillity' enjoyed at the abbey for 800 years.
Pluscarden Valley was designated as a special landscape area in Moray Council’s Local Landscape Designation Review, published in 2018.
Douglas Ross, Scottish Conservative MP for Moray, said:
“These plans were strongly opposed by the monks and most other residents of Pluscarden valley.
“Objectors made clear that the development puts 800 years of peace and tranquillity in the area at risk.
“They have expressed shock that this decision was reached.
“Pluscarden Valley was designated as a special landscape area by the council in 2018, and the review document itself describes an existing housing estate near to the abbey as ‘intrusive’.
“I have written asking for an explanation of why it appears that the council is not following its own guidance.
“There is little point in having special designations in place if they do not offer sufficient protection for areas of local significance from new development.”