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Tensions rise over unauthorised Traveller encampment at Whin Park in Inverness

The travellers at Whin Park
Highland Council said it was liaising with the community and with the travellers as tensions rise at Whin Park in Inverness.

Tensions are rising after a group of Travellers set up camp in Whin Park car park in Inverness.

Residents have complained the encampment has made it difficult for people to use the car park, while businesses have claimed it is putting off customers.

Police have visited the Whin Park site, which one local claimed even has a goat at it.

Independent Highland Councillor Duncan Macpherson, who has been contacted by residents, said: “The owners of two businesses told me they felt intimidated by their arrival in such large numbers. They said customers and park visitors are seeing the makeshift camp site and refusing to go in.”

A comment is unavailable from the Traveller families.

Travellers set up in the car park
Travellers entered the car park and set up an unauthorised encampment on Thursday.

It is not known where they have come from.

However, a resident who asked not to be named said: “These guys rolled in on Thursday evening.

“There’s nine caravans and seven vehicles, plus transit vans, dog kennels, and generators, and even a goat.”

The resident also mentioned loud music playing but said litter was neatly stacked for the council to collect.

Council ‘working together with its partners’

David Hass, Inverness City area manager, said the council was “working together with its partners, giving support to the community and to the travelling community, and understanding their needs and requirements, to ensure that everyone feels connected”.

Highland Council has a policy on how to deal with unauthorised camping.

A spokeswoman said: “Our staff are liaising, within government guidance on social distancing, with the people involved.”

Police have visited the encampment responding to complaints from residents.

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