DEVEOPMENT PLANS FOR common good land in Forres that has been the cause of controversy in the town for several years should be resolved before Christmas.
That was the pledge made by Councillors on Wednesday when they discussed the latest developments – or lack of them – over the bid by Redco Milne to purchase land at Bogton Road for a retail park.
While the current dispute over the proposals has dragged on for two years, it was several years before that when the developers first made a bid to purchase the land that includes Highland League side Forres Mechanics stadium.
A public vote on if the common good land should be sold for development demonstrated there was little support for the plan – but Redco Milne forged ahead with a second bid despite that initial rejection.
Now Councillors have said that they’ve waited long enough for a report from Culverwell Property Consultants that is to inform the viability of the bid, learning at Wednesday’s meeting of the Full Council that the firm produced a series of reasons why their report had repeatedly missed deadlines.
Now Councillors have agreed that a decision will be taken on the sale with or without the report by members of the policy and resources committee on October 27 – with that ratified by the Full Council on November 11.
The latest date given by Culverwell for the report being completed is September 30, but council leader Stewart Cree summed up the mood of the local authority at Wednesday’s meeting when he said: “What was apparent is that our patience is wearing decidedly thin – the council wants to see a resolution after the anxiety and upset this delayed project has caused to many in Forres.
“Despite all the delays in getting information we will set a date in November for making a decision – an officers’ report will be brought to the policy and resources committee on October 27 and their decision will be considered by the Full Council on November 11.”