Campaigners who became embroiled in a long-running battle over beach huts in Moray have settled their legal bill with the council.
Residents in Findhorn mounted a court challenge in a bid to halt plans to build the colourful huts on the coast near the village.
But, after the appeal was thrown out, the protestors were forced to cover the costs of the £14,500 bill that Moray Council racked up during the legal process.
Yesterday, the campaigners met the deadline, following a late flood of donations from supporters who read about their plight in the Press and Journal.
Findhorn resident Christine Hunt said: “We managed to get to the target. So many people have been generous and helped us to clear our debt with the council.
“A lot of people who had felt strongly about the initial application came back to support us, which was nice to see.
“People had read about our appeal and we had lots of donations from outside Findhorn, including Nairn and Elgin.
“We couldn’t have taken it to court without the support of the community, so it was nice to see them support us again – especially at this time of year.”
Moray Council set up an instalment plan with the campaigners to settle the tab and never had any doubts the payments would be made on time.
About 20 supporters stepped forward to help the campaigners meet the deadline for the last £3,500 bill.
Residents banded together to oppose the development when it was first mooted last year.
Yet, despite 173 objections being lodged against the scheme, Moray Council’s planning committee went against the advice of officers to wave the huts through.
A subsequent appeal, made to the Court of Session, was thrown out in January.
The campaigners had faced an anxious month after falling short of the total until a flurry of donations in the last week.
Another Findhorn resident, Maureen Hyde, added: “It was great to go into the bank on Monday and see there was enough money there.
“It was nice to tell people we didn’t need any more and they could save the money for themselves at Christmas.
“I’ve got no regrets about it. If it happened again I would do the same.”