THE final decision on a land sale opposed by the people of Forres has been deferred by Moray Council.
Members of the authority’s policy and resources committee made the decision to defer deciding whether to sell common good land near Bogton Road in north Forres at a meeting in Elgin on Tuesday following advice from officials.
A public consultation earlier this year saw 70% of respondents reject the idea but councillors were told the decision should be delayed until a report on the future of Moray’s economy has been completed.
This report – the Moray Economic Strategy – is due to be completed in May.
The land is part of the Common Good estate and comprises a field, children’s play park and a former Tesco supermarket on Gordon Road. Developers Redco Milne have proposed to build a retail development on the site.
Any money made for selling the land would be paid into the Common Good fund.
Members were told they should delay making their decision until they have a clearer picture of the Moray’s economic situation. All four Moray Council members for Forres – Lee Bell, Lorna Creswell, Jeff Hamilton and Irene Ogilvie – spoke in favour of deferral.
Gordon MacDonald (Buckie) asked why the issue should be deferred given the results of the consultation.
Members were then told rejecting an offer of inward investment could affect Moray’s economic future.
* A full report and the town’s reaction to the news will appear in next week’s ‘Forres Gazette’.