Plans to create a new Elgin High School have been left “in limbo” as the Scottish Government reassesses how to fund the project.
The claim was made by Elgin City North councillor John Divers last night as he lashed out at the red tape entangling the scheme.
Moray Council appealed to the government’s Scottish Futures Trust for a progress update last week after learning in June that the work could be delayed until December.
The trust has confirmed that recent major funding decisions have impacted on the timetable for works such as the £28.2million secondary school.
Mr Divers, who has spearheaded the crusade for a new high school in the town for a decade, said the longer construction was delayed, the heftier the cost would be.
And yesterday he spoke of his exasperation after learning that a start date for the work was still far from being confirmed.
He said: “We were hoping for a favourable decision, but it would appear that we could be faced with an even greater delay.
“No job gets cheaper over time, especially with building contracts, and it looks like the cost is going to increase again and again.
“It aggrieves me that people think the council is to blame for this, but we are just as frustrated by these setbacks as anyone else.
“We’re still stuck in limbo – we don’t know anything about when we can start building.”
The Scottish Futures Trust said a number of planned ventures had been affected by recently imposed European Union legislation, and it had decided not to close on other projects until the funding for the £745million Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route was arranged.
It added that, following last week’s decision to reclassify the AWPR scheme as a public project, other efforts had been delayed.
The letter to the council states: “We are considering whether further changes are required to our funding model, which means there is likely to be some further impact on the delivery timetable for projects that are in the pipeline.
“At this stage it is too early to know what that impact will be.”
Construction work was due to begin on the building in March.
In June the Scottish Government advised the local authority that work could be held up for as long as six months due to changes in European accounting legislation.