Inquiry threat after speaking on Caltongate

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CITY planning leader Jim Lowrie is facing an investigation from Scotland's public standards watchdog.

The Lib Dem councillor has been reported to the Standards Commission for Scotland following comments he made relating to the controversial 300 million Caltongate plans.

In an Evening News article last October, Councillor Lowrie said: "We have to get big developments like Caltongate up and running as soon as we can."

It is understood that the complainant, thought to be a protester fighting the scheme, believes Cllr Lowrie should not have commented before the planning application is heard by the council.

One City Chambers source said: "Members of the planning committee are not supposed to give any indication about any application."

Council chiefs said Cllr Lowrie will not be precluded from voting on the Caltongate scheme at a meeting on February 6.

Jim Inch, the council's monitoring officer, said: "While the Standards Commission continues its investigations, it is business as usual for the development management sub-committee of the planning committee.

"It would be inappropriate to preempt the work of the commission."

Cllr Lowrie said: "I will await the recommendations of the Standards Commission before making any further comment."