Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Forres furore over shopping centre plans

Stewart Noble
Stewart Noble

A long-running wrangle over plans to create a major shopping centre in a Moray town could soon be resolved.

Residents say Forres has been “in limbo for years” as the threat of a major retail development on Bogtown Road has deterred businesses from setting up shop in the town centre.

Aberdeen-based developers Redco Milne first sought permission to establish a £25million expansion on the common good land in 2008.

The group said it would pledge Moray Council £6.5million for the use of the 4.4 acre site, and asked that it be granted control of the area for 35 years.

Though the group maintains the scheme would boost the town’s economy – while delivering 500 local jobs – the plans have been met with fierce opposition from residents who fear such an expansion would signal a death-knell for local traders.

But now councillors are to receive an independent assessment of the application.

Culverwell Property Consultants was expected to deliver its findings last year, but the report has been delayed several times. Now the firm has promised it will deliver its assessment by the end of the month.

Council officers will then be able to draw together a report to go before elected members, and it is expected a decision on whether to proceed with the application will be made in late October.

Forres Community Council has spearheaded objections to the proposal, and yesterday the group’s chairman, Stewart Noble, said a lack of clarity on the town’s future had already impacted its local economy.

He said: “It’s hard to find anybody in Forres that supports this development.

“The main concern is that a retail park like this would kill the town centre, but the uncertainty surrounding this has already just about done that.

“Very few businesses want to take out a lease with this hanging over the area, as they don’t know whether they will be facing a national competitor.

“This has left the whole town in limbo for years.”

Redco Milne, a joint venture between leading Scottish housebuilder the Stewart Milne Group and developer Redco Assets, say the development will serve to enhance and extend Forres town centre.

A spokesman said the move would ensure Forres “has the retail facilities to compete with neighbouring Elgin, Nairn and Inverness”.

Already a subscriber? Sign in