Controversial road plans are back on following furious Council debate

Moray Council

Elgin’s West Relief Road is back with controversy once again enveloping Moray Council today when a committee voted to place the plans back on the table.

While many people had thought that the decision of the planning committee to throw out the plans less than two weeks ago had brought an end to years of argument, members of the economic development and infrastructure committee voted today to put an amended planning application forward.

Rebel Tory councillor Douglas Ross attempted to forestall any further discussion on the issue when he challenged Council legal officials over the right of the committee to even discuss the matter.

He said: “Standing orders are quite clear and we have raised this many times in this chamber – a decision of the council or a committee appointed by that council cannot be revisited within six months.

“If you wanted to revisit that decision, which this paper does, I am quite clear that we need to suspend standing orders and if you have a material change I will listen to that and see if you can garner two thirds of the vote.”

However, legal officers insisted that the paper placed before the committee did not require a suspension of standing orders at it was not challenging the previous decision of the planning committee.

At the end of a heated debate a motion by Councillor Ross that the decision of the planning committee be accepted and that the next step should be plans to provide a new road serving the new Elgin High School was defeated by seven votes to five.

Instead an amendment put forward by Councillor Allan Wright was passed that would see the entire matter referred back to Full Council with a proposal to submit a renewed planning application for the £8m road plans.

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