Aikey Brae a “lost opportunity”, claims Ellon councillor

An Ellon councillor has labelled a decision to reject Aikey Brae as a proposed halting site for travellers as a “lost opportunity”.

Officials have started drawing up a wider strategy for providing stopover sites across Aberdeenshire following a recent full council vote against the Old Deer site.

But Councillor Gillian Owen was disappointed with the decision.

She said: “In Ellon and district we have been continually pestered by unauthorised travellers, sadly a number of them have tried the patience of our local community with their anti-social behaviour.”

Councillor Owen has been a frequent critic of the debris left by travelling groups when they have moved on from the town.

She said: “This proposal is the first of many and it is part of the strategic housing plan that was included in the last round of the Local Development Plan for transit sites.

“Locally, in Ellon, residents did not like the site that was picked but no one has provided an alternative and so it stands.

“I believe an opportunity has been lost and it is clear that the authorities including the Police will not act until we address the issue of transit sites,

“I will be pressing the council to bring new proposals forward as the travelling season is just starting.”

The councillor said the Aikey Brae vote at full council clearly showed that the vast majority of SNP members voted against the proposal.

She added: “The Scottish Government has been telling all councils to sort transit sites out and yet it appears that their own councillors adopt a NIMBY approach and rejected Aikey Brae.”