Councillors are being urged to approve a planning application for a caravan site for Travellers – despite 42 objections to the scheme.
Mr and Mrs George Stewart are seeking approval for the part retrospective formation of a seven-pitch caravan park at the disused quarry at Quarrywood, Kemnay.
Aberdeenshire Council planners have recommended full planning permission is granted subject to a number of conditions. The Garioch area committee will review the application next week ahead of it going before full council.
A number of concerns were raised by objectors including that work commenced on the site without planning permission, over the visual impact of the build, the potential impact on wildlife, a potential loss of privacy and amenity for its nearest residents and that the site was not identified for a caravan/ Travellers’ site.
Kemnay Community Council was among those to object.
Five representations were made in support of the application.
But a report by senior planner Bruce Strachan said: “Proposals for Gypsy/Traveller sites often result in a strong response from the local settled community based on negative stereotypes, discrimination and publicity of unauthorised encampments.
“This proposal has caused an equally robust response from residents and the community council which was likely compounded by the unauthorised work that has been undertaken and need for formal enforcement action to attempt to rectify the situation.
“However, that must not influence the decision that must be taken on this application, which must be based on the policies contained within the development plan and other material considerations that have been identified.”
Alan Seath, of Alan Seath Planning Consultancy, agent for the applicants, said: “After a lot of hard work in partnership with consultees and the council reacting to all the requests by these consultees and the local authority, we have proven that the development is acceptable and in accordance with the development plan.
“It also meets a need for the Gypsy/Travelling community in the Garioch area of Aberdeenshire.”