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Banff's Greenbanks site will not extend opening

By Kyle Ritchie

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The Greenbanks traveller site in Banff will not open past its usual closing date this year.

The online meeting of the Banff and Buchan area committee heard there had been reduced appetite from families to stay on for an extended time into the winter months.

It means the site will be closed for the season on Friday, October 2.

Last year councillors approved improvement work for the site.

The contractor started work last October and was scheduled to have it complete by the end of March.

However, the Covid-19 outbreak halted progress and it was finished at the end of the July.

In the report that went before councillors from housing strategy and building standards manager Alexander Macleod it said: "The site reopened to residents on August 7, 2020.

"Since the opening the site has been well occupied. Feedback on the upgraded facilities has been widely positive."

He added the option to extend the opening period of the site had been the subject of a risk assessment, with flooding outlined as a concern.

Mr Macleod added: "Consultation has taken place with residents on site and there is now reduced appetite to stay on the site beyond the traditional end of September closing date."

He said that there had also been reduced movement from communities in the north-east due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"In light of the lack of current demand it is intended to close the site on October 2, 2020 in line with existing practices." he outlined.

Should there be an increase in interest or demand to open over the winter, officers would report back to the area committee.

Banff and District councillor Michael Roy told the meeting: "As a bit of background, several years ago I was approached by a number of the residents on the site and asked if the opening hours could be extended.

"At that time the intention was to extend the opening hours by a matter of weeks either at the beginning or/and at the end of the season.

"There was no request, or no intention, that the site should be open on a year-round basis.

"Should they wish that, and it appears now they have changed their mind, it may be worth considering extending the opening hours by a matter of weeks rather than months.

"I am happy to accept the report and agree with its conclusions."

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