Progress of North Esk discussions outlined to councillors

Two new planning applications for the unauthorised North Esk Gypsy/Traveller site at St Cyrus have been submitted to Aberdeenshire Council, councillors have been told.

At a meeting of the full council at Woodhill House in Aberdeen on Thursday (Thu, Jan 17), Director of Infrastructure Services Stephen Archer provided an update on the progress of matters relating to the site since it was last discussed by the council in June last year. 

He explained that two new planning applications relating to the existing site have been submitted; one relating to the permanent residents’ section of the development and the other for the halting site.

Both applications have been validated, meaning they can now be considered by the planning service. As a result, no enforcement action in relation to the planning application refused previously will be considered for North Esk until the new applications have been determined.

Mr Archer highlighted that there had been some action taken to prevent new works at the existing site, however.

“The dialogue with residents, with the Travellers’ agent and with the Travellers themselves continues because clearly we do need to be exploring options,” said Mr Archer. 

“Just because there are new applications on the table does not mean that is then the only appropriate route to consider. In due course we need to consider what our options might be.”

It is expected the new plans will come before the full council in April for a decision to be made.

Councillors went on to note the recent enforcement activity at the site, the submission of the two new planning applications, and that discussions with representatives of North Esk residents would continue in the meantime.