Clola travellers site gets approval despite objections
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Aberdeenshire councillors have approved plans for a new Travellers site near a north-east village despite multiple objections by residents.
The proposal to change the use of agricultural land at Smallburn, Clola into a site for three caravan pitches was unanimously given the green light by Full Council on Thursday.
Each caravan will have access to two parking places and a wooden shed while a new turning area will also be formed.
Two previous applications similar to this had previously been submitted to Aberdeenshire Council but were refused.
The last proposal submitted in 2019 was refused as it was not made clear whether a suitable water supply and drainage system could service the site.
The new plan received 25 objections from residents raising concerns over road safety, drainage, water supply and impact on local amenities.
One neighbour who lives next to the site said the proposal had given them “a great deal of concern and worry” as no changes had been made to the site following the two previous applications.
They added: “I strongly feel that it would have a detrimental effect on my family. We should not have the worry of having our water contaminated.”
Objectors also urged councillors to visit the site to see their concerns for themselves.
The application previously went before the Buchan Area Committee in August for local councillors to give their views on the plan.
Councillor Norman Smith noted he had concerns about water supply and drainage at the site while fellow councillor Stephen Calder had said that refusing the plan could “potentially leave the family with nowhere to live and limit their access to education and local services”.
Prior to Thursday’s meeting Aberdeenshire Council planners had recommended the application be approved subject to conditions.
They said the site would have “appropriate” infrastructure and met council policy.
Planners also said that they were happy with the site design and added that it complied with the Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan.