A petition calling for the return of control of common good assets to their local communities is to be handed over to the Scottish Government later today.
The petition was raised by campaigners fighting the proposed sale of common good land in the Bogton Road area of Forres to developers Redco Milne.
Over 1600 signed the petition raised by online campaign ‘The Battle for Bogton’.
Moray’s MSP Richard Lochhead has agreed to receive the petition from Stewart Noble, who is the vice chairman of the Forres Community Council and has been a leading campaigner against the plans to develop a retail complex on the common good land.
Mr Lochhead has promised to write to the Scottish Government minister responsible for Local Government and Planning, enclosing a copy of the petition.
The Scottish Government introduced the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill to Parliament last month. The Bill reflects the policy principles of subsidiarity, community empowerment and improving outcomes and provides a framework.
The Bill’s provisions will:
- Empower community bodies through the ownership of land and buildings, and
- Strengthening their voices in the decisions that matter to them; and support an increase in the pace and scale of public service reform by cementing the
- Focus on achieving outcomes and improving the process of community planning.
The Battle for Bogton argue that as an earlier public consultation over the sale of the common good land had returned a clear mandate that it should not be sold, Moray Council should not even be considering sale of the land.
However, the local authority say that it is their duty to consider every aspect of an offer that may be of significant advantage for the community, and have commissioned an independent expert review of the offer made by Redco Milne.
Moray Council has also made it clear that no decision on the sale of the land will be taken without once again taking the views of the local community.
The petition will be handed over today at the 2.10pm outside the Tolbooth on Forres High Street.