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.

North-east councillors get behind plans for travellers site

Travellers at Aikey Brae
Travellers at Aikey Brae

North-east councillors have paved the way for the creation of a controversial new travellers site near a north-east village.

And the local authority has been urged to look to the recently-approved North Esk Park encampment near St Cyrus as a model for future stopover areas.

The council’s gypsy-traveller sub-committee agreed yesterday to draw-up a planning application for a “two-week, short-term” halting site at Aikey Brae near Old Deer.

Members also backed a commitment to “immediate site provision” for travellers in the region.

Local authority plans for sites at Ellon, Thainstone and Laurencekirk have all been discarded, and two others planned for Blackdog and Chapelton of Elsick may not take shape for years.

Proposals to formally open Aikey Brae to travellers were announced in 2014, but a backlash from locals forced the council to shelve the scheme.

The halting site would cost £351,342.

Chairman of the committee, Allan Hendry, said members had no choice but to back the proposals, and added the local authority must keep searching for other possible locations.

He said that authorised encampments were the only way to help police deal with unofficial ones in the region.

Mr Hendry, who is SNP councillor for Mid-Formartine, said: “It is an ongoing search for halting sites throughout the whole of Aberdeenshire. It is not easy.

“We have tried and look how long we have been at it, even before this committee was formed.

“We have got to find somewhere for them to go. We can’t keep chasing them about. We have got to find more sites.”

Recently the council agreed to authorise North Esk Park at St Cyrus, which was established without planning permission in 2013.

Mearns councillor George Carr called for North Esk Park to be taken into account by the council when considering future sites.

The Conservative said: “I think at St Cyrus there has been evidence of fairly good practice.

“I just wondered if we have had much feedback from the gypsy-traveller community themselves on whether they have been interested in taking a more proactive role on the (Aikey Brae) site or various options along those lines?

“If you look at St Cyrus a lot of money has been spent there, there may be someone there who is willing to invest. We need to be looking at different options.”

Council minority ethnic communities officer, Moyra Stephen, said: “It (Aikey Brae) would be open six months of the year to keep with the travellers’ season. Allocations would be on a first come, first served basis.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]