Concerns raised over St Cyrus traveller site

A number of concerns have been raised with St Cyrus Community Council over a travellers’ site near a nature reserve.

More than 40 people attended the community council meeting in the village hall last week where they made their feelings clear on the situation currently developing in the area.

Building work started on a private plot of land at Nether Warburton, near St Cyrus, just over three weeks ago after a number of caravans and construction equipment appeared on the site.

Within only a few days, the land at the site was levelled and the foundations of a new caravan site were laid.

All of the work took place without any planning permission from Aberdeenshire Council and the local authority only became aware of the situation after receiving calls from concerned residents.

The council placed a temporary stop notice on the work and applied to Stonehaven Sheriff Court for an interim interdict.

Since then, an application for planning permission to build a 10-stance caravan park as a permanent halt for travellers has been submitted to the council.

However, the local authority confirmed at the meeting that it believed the notice to stop work had been breached, and the occupiers of the land could face legal or police action.

Members of the public who attended the meeting raised their concerns over potential issues over the caravan park which could affect flooding, road access, tourism and the environment at the plot of land, where the bank behind it is also a designated ‘Site of Special Scientific interest’.

The community council’s temporary chairman, Mr Chris Wark, cast a vote of members to gain an indication of the group’s stance on the application towards the end of the meeting.

One member of the public, who did not wish to be named, said: “Last year there were landslides from the bridge all the way to the road down the bank.

“That creates a health and safety risk for the people on that site and the building works will compromise the cliff face.

“The main problem is where this site is, not who is on it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s you or me building the caravan site on it - it’s a bad idea.

Five out of seven members present voted to object the plans, with two registering no vote. The planning application can be viewed on the Aberdeenshire Council’s planning website entering APP/2013/3099.