Police have confirmed that they are investigating how council officials in Lanark dealt with what is described as a historic planning permission application following allegations of corruption.
Speculation is now rife over what application the probe relates to, with both Police Scotland and South Lanarkshire Council declining to divulge any details.
Over the past few days, the Gazette has heard various unsubstantiated suggestions that the investigation centres on one of three major developments in the Clydesdale area over the past 10 to 15 years.
However, with the case at a relatively early stage, all parties involved are remaining tight-lipped for the moment, and there are no indications of when – or even if – charges will be brought.
All a South Lanarkshire Council spokesman could say on Monday was: “The council is aware of these historic allegations and Police Scotland’s inquiries.”
He added:“It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”
Earlier this year, the Gazette reported on the controversy over the transfer of the Clydesdale planning department at the council’s area headquarters in Lanark’s South Vennel to the local authority’s base in Hamilton.
Local planning matters had been dealt with at that building for almost four decades since the former Clydesdale District Council converted the redundant St Mary’s Hospital into its new HQ in the late 1970s.
The news of the police investigation has led to further speculation that this probe, and not efficiency savings, as stated, were behind the recent move to Hamilton, but the Gazette understands from a reliable council source that the two issues are not related.
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that we have received a complaint regarding allegations of corruption at South Lanarkshire Council, and the matter is being investigated.”