COUNCILLORS have agreed to waive a £23,000 fee for the use of common good land by the contractors who will build the new £42m Lossiemouth High School.
The unforeseen cost only materialised when it became clear that a small area of common good land would be needed for part of the compound and waste materials from the construction process.
Graham Jarvis, acting head of education, said existing ground within the construction area was deemed unable to fully bear the weight of materials.
The builders require a licence to use the land, members were told at a meeting of the Moray Council on Wednesday.
While agreeing to the waiving of the fee for the licence, Heldon and Laich Councillor Ryan Edwards asked that if the project came in under budget, consideration should be given to the £23,000 being returned to the common good fund.
Councillors Sonya Warren (Buckie), Frank Brown (Elgin City North) and Donald Gatt (Keith-Cullen) were surprised that the additional cost could not have been foreseen earlier.
Cllr Brown said he found it “remarkably strange and extremely disappointing” to effectively be asked by the contractor to provide free extra space to dispose of waste materials.
Mr Jarvis said the common good land would be reinstated to its present state at the end of the project.
He said if the £23,000 fee was not waived the specification of the new school would have to be reduced by a similar amount.
He added that the £42m school would benefit Lossiemouth and the wider community, with a new community centre, swimming pool and 3G sports pitch.