North-east councillors have voiced their support for a traveller camp being created near Banff, despite a number of safety concerns from locals.
More than 250 people signed a petition to block Frank James from creating a 15-pitch stopover site at Boyndie’s former council depot earlier this year.
However, the initiative has been supported by Aberdeenshire Council and local members also backed the project yesterday.
Banff and Buchan area committee had been asked to provide comments towards a larger discussion on the camp later this year, when a meeting of the full council will decide whether or not to endorse the site.
Objectors have claimed the scheme would be dangerous due to its proximity to the A98 Banff to Portsoy road.
But a spokesman for the local authority’s planning service responded that not all objections had come from people who will be affected by the site.
He said: “You can object to something on the other side of the world. As long as they are valid concerns, they will be taken into consideration.”
A spokesman for the council’s roads service added there was no “accident history” in the area.
And Michael Ritchie, whose architecture firm lodged the plans for Mr James, argued there was a need for such sites within Aberdeenshire.
He stated: “These types of people would benefit from having a proper site with facilities.
“It’s maybe not everyone’s idea of a development, but there is no habitable property within 250 metres [of the proposed traveller camp].”
Backing the venture, councillor Mark Findlater claimed that stopover sites were a necessity.
Ross Cassie added: “I am broadly supportive of this. Yes, road safety is a concern, but there is no evidence to suggest this is a high-risk area.”
And John Cox said a “bad” road should not sterilise a whole development.
Along with their opinions on the scheme, the committee has asked for traffic statistics of the road to be made available.