Aberdeenshire councillors have rejected the planning application for a travellers site because of concerns it could have a negative impact on the health of locals.
The application, which sought full planning permission for a private travellers site on land at Smallburn, Clola, was rejected by 37-22 with one abstention at a full council meeting yesterday as recommended by officials.
The planning application, which was lodged by George Stewart of Ellon, was for a three-pitch site that would allow parking spaces for up to six vehicles.
However, it was refused because it posed a contamination risk to a neighbouring property’s water supply.
The proposed site was within 50 metres of a neighbouring property’s well and some councillors had previously raised concerns this could impact the local water supply.
Councillor Jim Ingram said he wasn’t happy “to gamble with someone’s water supply” and his stance this time round “was very much the same.”
After the full council meeting, he said: “I wasn’t prepared to take the risk with someone’s water supply as the type of soil has little to no drainage quality.”
“Many people, like myself, are sympathetic to the travelling community and my reasons for rejecting this were purely on the grounds of public health.”
Chairman of Buchan area committee Norman Smith, echoed these concerns, and stated: “Health was the really big issue here.”
The planning application was discussed at Buchan Area Committee on October 8 where members acknowledged the recommendation to refuse full planning permission.
At the time, an appropriate drainage system had not been established.
A report to Aberdeenshire Council stated the decision was deferred for two cycles to “allow more time to confirm the suitability of the quantity and quality of the water supply and acceptability of the drainage serving the site.”
There were a total of 45 objections when the planning application was initially submitted, with concerns raised about a number of different issues, such as road safety, water supply and drainage.