Council leader claims of £2.7m link road compensation unfounded

Gary Coull -
Gary Coull – £2.7m compensation claim was ‘throwing toys out of the pram’ by Council Leader

CLAIMS THAT MORAY Council would be required to pay compensation to a housing developer following the collapse of plans to create a Western Link Road in Elgin have been dismissed.

The SNP opposition group joined with two Administration Group members of the Moray Council in removing the controversial link road plans from the Moray Capital Plan last month.

That brought claims from Council Leader Stewart Cree that a consequence would be compensation having to be paid to Grampian Housing, who it was claimed would abandon their plans to build new affordable housing on the planned route.

However, in an article in the trade publication Scottish Housing News the director of business development at Grampian Housing, Craig Stirrat, said his organisation remained committed to developing the Elgin site: “It is too early to write off the housing development – we are still committed to it and are in discussions with The Moray Council.”

Last night the SNP opposition group leader, Councillor Gary Coull, said: “Since the Independent/Tory Administration lost this key vote on their Financial Plan as a result of two of their own members voting against it, including a committee chair, they have been casting around blame and multi-million pound claims in equal measure.

“A figure of £2.7million compensation was bandied around for them to hide behind – yet Grampian Housing are making it very clear they are committed to this housing project!

“Leadership is about having a strategy and delivering it, not about throwing your toys out of the pram. It is long past time for Moray Council’s Administration to shoulder that responsibility and deal in facts rather than scaremongering and wild speculation.

“I am calling on the Council’s Administration to work constructively to find an alternative means of developing this site, which we believe is entirely possible.

“I very much welcome the positive and committed attitude from Grampian Housing and the SNP will work constructively on this.”