Council seek to move on travelling group

Travellers have pitched up on this site
Travellers have pitched up on this site

Aberdeenshire Council has taken action against a group of travellers who have recently parked illegally on Inverurie’s Souterford Road.

The caravans appeared in the town a few days ago and pitched up on council land near the Inverurie Business and Retail Parks.

As such it would be unlawful for travellers to be on that site

Councillor Richard Cowling Inverurie and District

An Aberdeenshire Council spokesperson said: “Officers have visited an encampment at Souterford Road, Inverurie, across from the Household Waste Recycling Centre.

“Appropriate action has been taken to provide advice and ask them to move on.

“If they refuse to leave we will seek a court order.

“In the meantime we will continue to monitor the situation.”

Inverurie and District Councillor Richard Cowling said: “There is not an authorised site in Inverurie at the moment and that site has not been identified in any local plan.

“As such it would be unlawful for travellers to be on that site.

“If they pitched up at the weekend I imagine someone will have to go and carry out an inspection and assess the situation.”

Councillor Cowling added: “The Scottish Government has kind of shrugged its shoulders and it falls on the local councils.

“It all comes down to planning permission.

“In reality they should not be crossing into other peoples land.”

Ellon and District Councillor Gillian Owen last week called on the Scottish Government to change its policy and take responsbility for determining traveller sites.

She claimed local councillors can’t reach an informed decision on the controversial issue without facing the anger of the

community - or criticism from Holyrood ministers.

Councillor Owen urged social justice and communities secretary Alex Neil to review the policy.

In response, a Scottish Government spokesperson said decisions on traveller sites were best made at local level by those with local knowledge and accountability.

Four sites are currently under consideration in Aberdeenshire as possible stopover halts for travellers.