Aikey traveller site to be debated

Full planning permission is being sought for change of use of the vacant land at Aikey
Full planning permission is being sought for change of use of the vacant land at Aikey

Controversial plans for the creation of a travellers site at Aikey near Old Deer will be discussed by members of the Buchan area committee on Tuesday.

Full planning permission is being sought for change of use of the vacant land at Aikey Depot for the site, which would accommodate ten pitches and associated parking.

The application has attracted a raft of objections, stating that there are more appropriate sites in the area and highlighting traffic and road safety issues.

Among the objectors was Old Deer Community Council which raises a number of material planning issues including the impact on an historic and conservation area.

However, five supporting letters say the application would assist in meeting the identified need for travellers in the North East of Scotland.

In a report to councillors, planning chief Stephen Archer says the main considerations are the principle of the development and the impact on the conservation area.

He states: “Due to the lack of site provision, Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City experience more unauthorised encampments in comparison to other local authorities throughout Scotland.

“At present Aberdeenshire Council has one fully serviced seasonal, 20-pitch traveller site at Banff. This site was developed over 20 years ago and since then no further provision has been made by Aberdeenshire Council. It is considered this site would meet the identified need for North Aberdeenshire.”

Councillors will be asked to grant full planning permission subject to a number of conditions. Mr Archer says the site will not significantly detract from the amenity of the Old Deer Conservation Area, adding thatit is adequately serviced and appropriately located to allow the residents reasonable access to employment, education, health and community facilities.