Online petition calls for halt to traveller site

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More than 100 people have signed a petition calling for a halt to proposals to locate a travellers’ site at Aikey Brae near Old Deer.

The petition, on change.org attracted 103 supporters in just a few days since being posted online.

The site states: “Aberdeenshire Council has revealed it is to bring forward proposals to develop a permanent travellers site at Aikey Brae, near Old Deer.

“The site would cost an estimated £351,000 to develop.

“The site will serve as temporary accommodation to travellers, who will then have to move on after a period of a week or two.

“It is widely known that travellers leave vast amounts of mess behind and to do so in such an important and historical area will be a massive inconvenience to the local community.

“Old Deer is itself steeped in history and people travel far and wide to see the Old Abbey on the outskirts of the village and to visit the ‘stone circle’ at Aikey Brae itself.

“While we understand the needs of the travellers, this development will be detrimental to Old Deer and the surrounding areas and it is in our best interest to encourage the council to reconsider its proposal.”

One woman who signed the petition wrote: “This is not safe for travellers and the only reason it is being proposed is because there are no local councillors on the committee.”

Local councillor Jim Ingram voted against the site at a meeting of the full council last month.

He questioned whether it was the right place for a traveller site given demand for a site had been mostly in south Aberdeenshire.

Aberdeenshire councillors have been debating the location of a traveller site in Buchan for around two years, but recently gave their backing to the Aikey Brae site.

If it goes ahead, the site would accommodate ten caravans as well as electricity hook-ups and toilet facilities.