Highlands & Islands

Inverness West Link: Road payment talks 'confidential'

Tesco shopping in trolley Image copyright PA

Highland Council and Tesco have signed a legal agreement to keep negotiations in a financial dispute confidential, BBC Scotland understands.

The local authority and supermarket giant have been at loggerheads in a long-running row over a £340,000 "planning gain" payment from Tesco.

Tesco has argued that the money was to be a contribution towards a new road in Inverness, if it was completed by 2011.

But work on building the West Link only started this year.

The row is linked to Tesco's store at Ness-side, its newest and fourth supermarket in Inverness.

The chain bought the land for the store in 2001 and signed what is known as a Section 75 planning agreement with Highland Council.

This included a planning gain payment.

Tesco has previously said it had offered to contribute £340,000 towards the cost of constructing the West Link, which is being built close to Ness-side, if the road was completed as planned by October 2011.

BBC Scotland has learned that letters have been exchanged between lawyers acting for Highland Council and for Tesco on the matter.

Both sides have refused to say whether the issue has been resolved. A legal confidentiality agreement is understood to have been put in place.

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