Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Travellers request upgrades at controversial north-east stopover site

Aikey Brae, while under construction.
Aikey Brae, while under construction.

Travellers using a new north-east stopover site have requested that the spot be upgraded and the maximum length of their stays be extended beyond a fortnight.

Aberdeenshire Council opened the Aikey Brae site near New Deer in May, having ploughed £250,000 into adapting a disused quarry, despite protests from locals.

The encampment was operated between April and September on a first-come, first-served basis with a maximum stay of two weeks being enforced when there is a waiting list in place.

>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The P&J newsletter

On occasions where there was no list, then occupants were entitled to stay for the duration of the season.

During the four months it was open, feedback was taken from the travellers and their opinions have helped to form a report which will be debated by the council’s gypsy traveller sub-committee on Wednesday.

Director of infrastructure services Stephen Archer has outlined several hopes for the future of the site – which became so well-used over the summer that users asked for the season to be extended.

Mr Archer said: “In a number of cases, it became apparent that the travellers’ preference was to remain on site for longer periods of time.

“This could be facilitated as supply of pitches was higher than demand.

“Surveys suggested that it would be preferable if the facilities could be upgraded to make the site more attractive to travellers, which would contribute to improved health for the families on site.

“All respondents expressed a wish for improved facilities such as toilets, showers, laundry facilities, access to internet for children’s homework and access to television.”

Surveys also found that the majority of travellers would be willing to pay higher rent for
improved facilities, and most would like the length of time they can stay to be unrestricted.

The feedback further indicated that the majority of users would use the site throughout the year, and would be happy to return as Aikey Brae is “secure, well managed, quiet and close to the school”.

The report adds that any of the proposals would have to be “self-funding” in order to come to fruition, “given funding pressures on capital and revenue budgets”.

The camp was set up in effort to prevent unauthorised camps being set up in the region, but attracted a backlash from locals who feared Aikey Brae was an unsuitable location.

Already a subscriber? Sign in