THE DEVELOPERS BEHIND PLANS to create a hotel and shopping complex on common good land in Forres have said they are withdrawing their proposals.
Aberdeen-based Redco Milne have pressed for seven years to purchase the common good land at Bogton Road which, along with land they already owned, would have been turned into a retail complex.
Following years of debate and consultation, however, councillors last week agreed to recommend rejection of the land sale – and with that due to be ratified at a full meeting of the local authority next week, the developers have now pulled out completely.
In a statement on Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Redco Milne said that the company had expended “a significant amount of time, money and effort” over seven years in their effort to secure planning consent that would “enhance the town centre in Forres and deliver much needed local jobs”.
Adding that more recently they had concentrated on developing a financial proposal to lease the land and “deliver best value to Moray Council and the Forres Common Good Fund”, the statement concluded: “Perhaps more importantly, our proposals would have enable Forres Mechanics to relocate to a purpose-built facility that they would own at no cost to themselves.”
“In light of the recent decision by Moray Council’s Policy and Resources Committee not to support our financial proposal for the site, we have withdrawn our proposal with immediate effect. It is now for Moray Council to consider if they wish us to resubmit our proposals and on what basis.”
Last night Moray Council insisted that it was not for them to reignite any planning application for the Bogton Road site, a spokesman saying: “It is for Redco Milne to submit proposals, not Moray Council. This withdrawal by Redco Milne concludes negotiations with the council on the current proposal.”
Local councillor and member of the Forres Mechanics board, George Alexander, pointed to the neutral stance always taken by the football club over the issue: “We had always left this for the people of Forres to decide – but this has given us a conclusion and we will now look to develop Mosset Park.”