A new report by Aberdeenshire Council officers has insisted the controversial Spaces for People measures in Stonehaven are “working well and justified”, despite a petition from hundreds of residents calling for the project to be scrapped.
Last month, members of the Kincardine and Mearns area committee considered a call from more than 800 people calling for the changes to the streets of the town to be removed.
Objectors criticised the restrictions, put in place to allow for social distancing in the seaside community and encourage people to feel they can shop safely.
Those opposed to the scheme have argued it has negatively impacted businesses and is visually unappealing for visitors.
Councillors also raised their own questions over why the measures are in place in Stonehaven, but not in other Aberdeenshire communities such as Laurencekirk and Ballater.
The councillors instructed officers to prepare a report to help inform any future decisions on the Spaces for People restrictions and next week the committee will consider their findings.
The report’s authors write: “Following the previous reviews and the removal of significant sections of the measures on August 19 and 31, it is the view of officers that all the remaining sections are working well and justified in the present situation.”
They add: “There is a strong risk that the complete removal of all measures would be interpreted as an indication that social distancing was no longer considered important by the council.