Moray Council have been given a reprieve by the Scottish Government over the repairs to Lossiemouth’s sea wall.
The local authority looked set to lose £225,000 in special funding to help towards the repair bill of around £450,000 because of delays in first identifying a contractor and then putting the repair in place.
Lossie’s Station Park was badly damaged by exceptionally high ‘surge’ tides in December 2012. The breach in the wall was temporarily repaired while council leaders negotiated over its repair – however, the removal of the temporary repair by contractors coincided with another run of high tides in January that led to the area being flooded.
With the Scottish Government funding dependent on repairs being completed by the end of this month, the leader of Moray Council, Allan Wright, and local councillor John Cowe wrote to the Minister for the Environment and Climate Change seeking an extension to the deadline.
The final decision on that lay with Moray’s MSP Richard Lochhead in his capacity as Environment Secretary, who has now indicated that he is content for the funding to be carried over into the new financial year.
After confirming that the funding deadline had now been extended to December, Councillor Wright said: “We are very grateful to Mr Lochhead for allowing us the degree of flexibility.
“We don’t know what the weather might do over the next month, therefore the deadline relaxation is very welcome.”
Moray Council had delayed awarding the contract for the repairs until October 2013, by which time they were able to negotiate an agreement that saved local taxpayers £40,000.