The developer behind controversial plans to construct a £20million retail park in Forres has withdrawn its proposal with immediate effect.
Redco Milne first tabled the Bogton Road project in 2008, but horrified locals warned that the development would represent the “death knell” for High Street trade and launched a ferocious campaign against the plans.
Last week Moray Council’s policy and resources committee rejected the scheme, and it was due to go before full council but yesterday Redco Milne officially scrapped its plans.
A spokeswoman said Redco Milne had spent a “significant amount of time, money and effort” forming the development – but added the group would only pursue it further at Moray Council’s behest.
She said: “In light of the recent decision by the council not to support our financial proposal for the site, we have withdrawn it with immediate effect.
“It is now for Moray Council to consider if they wish us to resubmit our proposals and on what basis.”
However, the firm was keen to stress the benefits it believes the project could have brought the town.
The spokeswoman added: “Our proposals would have enhanced the town centre and delivered much needed local jobs.
“Perhaps most importantly, it would have enabled Forres Mechanics to relocate to a purpose built facility that they would own at no cost to themselves.”
During last week’s meeting elected members heard the group was looking for Moray Council to cover any losses the retail complex suffered.
Councillors unanimously recommended that the “risky” plans be rejected for fear they could drain resources.
And last night the local authority drew a line under the matter, saying it had no intention of asking the firm for another submission.
A spokesman said: “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.”
Forres community council chairman Stewart Noble spearheaded opposition to the plans, and last night hailed their apparent demise as “brilliant news” for the town.
Forres Mechanics board member, and local councillor, George Alexander said the club had always taken a neutral stance in regard to the development.
He added: “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.”