Opposition to Aikey Brae traveller site

The possible use of a former Aberdeenshire quarry as a traveller site has been rejected at a public meeting.

Around 70 people attended Mintlaw Academy last Wednesday to discuss three options for Aikey Brae, near Old Deer.

But a fourth suggestion against its use as a traveller site gained almost unanimous support.

The council’s housing director Ritchie Johnson said that while the meeting was focusing on Aikey Brae the issue was one being considered across Aberdeenshire.

It was attended by residents, councillors and council officials. Mr Johnson stressed that no decisions had been made and all views would be recorded.

A public meeting on Aikey Brae was held last May, when discussions covered potential crime, the clear-up of sites, and site management. Travellers indicated later they would use the facility, if developed.

The proposals were then developed further to take account of the comments.

Last week’s meeting was given details of three possible options for developing Aikey Brae, ranging from transit to stopover to permanent. All three would see the creation of 14 pitches at the site, with security fencing, closed circuit television, and a management office.

Mr Johnson said later: “There were a number of strong views expressed during the meeting including, of course, that there should be no development at all at Aikey Brae.

“No decision has been made on the future of Aikey Brae, but it’s important that we hold discussions with the local community regarding how the site might be used should proposals move forward.”