NEW lease arrangements for Forres Mechanics’ football ground have been agreed.
The decision to set the annual rental for Mosset Park at £4,500-a-year was taken behind closed doors during a meeting of the authority’s Policy and Resources committee this week.
Terms of the new lease, proposed by Councillor Lee Bell (Forres), were given unanimous backing, a spokesman for the authority later confirmed.
The Highland League club currently pays a peppercorn rent of £5.60-a-year, however, a rent review was triggered last year after public consultation on whether to sell the park and adjoining Common Good land to developers Redco Milne.
Three quarters of respondents supported the option not to sell the land and to offer a new lease to the football club on appropriate grounds.
Open market rent for the site was assessed at £35,000-a-year, while the rental for existing use as a football ground was assessed at £4,500. However, councillors heard that the greater figure would be unsustainable for the club.
Rent will be reviewed again in 2017 and every five years thereafter. The meeting also agreed to a landlord’s break option of two years, meaning that the club would be given two years’ notice to quit in the event of the council seeking vacant possession of the property.