Permission for natural burial grounds in a Moray town is likely to be revoked following a council blunder.
Approval for the “green burial site” at Sanquhar Community Woodlands at Forres was granted by Moray Council officers in early 2009.
However, it has since emerged that the application should have been advertised to ensure that the local community was aware of the proposal and to allow for representations.
No burials have taken place at the site and it is understood that there has been only one expression of interest.
Councillors will now seek to revoke the planning permission.
Moray Council’s planning and regulatory services committee has agreed to invite the landowner to submit a further application which will go before the committee for consideration.
Committee chairman councillor Douglas Ross said: “There was an error made with the previous application and officers have accepted this. There have been meetings with both the applicant and local residents and I think it is right and proper that the committee agreed to revoke the previous planning permission.
“I was clear when I became chairman of planning and regulatory services that the public should always know their voice was heard in planning applications. In this case they clearly did not have that opportunity.
“If a new application is received it will be properly advertised to allow comments, both for and against, and the decision will then be made by councillors rather than delegated to officers.
“I hope this move shows people that Moray Council listens to their concerns and in revoking this permission we have followed the only course of action suitable in these circumstances.”
Planning laws do all the revocation of planning permission if councillors agree on the appropriate order.
A council spokesman said: “This was an unfortunate oversight. Planning regulations stipulate that a planning application for use of land as a cemetery has to be advertised to ensure that the public are aware of the application and are given the opportunity to comment or object.
“That procedure will be followed in the event that a further planning application is received.”