The chairman of Stonehaven tourism group and director of Stonehaven Town Partnership, Frank Budd, attended this week’s Community Council meeting to try to clear up what Community Council chairman David Fleming described as “confusion” over the future of the Queen Elizabeth Caravan Park in the town.
The search for a suitable body to take over the running of the caravan park has caused controversy in the town.
One of the main areas which has caused debate is the naming of the Caravan Club as the preferred bidder for the site.
At the Community Council meeting this week, Frank Budd revealed that the other bidder considered was Deeside Caravans, but he said that the Caravan Club’s proposal was stronger.
After explaining the background of the bid, Mr Budd then went on to explain how much tourism the Caravan Club would bring to Stonehaven, explaining that the average touring caravan spent £50 a night, on top of pitch fees.
He also revealed that after discussions, the Caravan Club was now willing to allow eight static caravans to remain on the site.
This revelation caused some stirring in the public gallery, with one person asking: “How will they take the number of static caravan down to eight from 42?”
Mr Budd explained that this was something they would have to explore but explained that at present it was unclear how many static caravans would want to return next season.
Other sites for the static caravans were suggested at the meeting, but one static owner explained: “We all chose Stonehaven because it’s a lovely little town.” Several other caravan owners agreed and added that they were not actually against the Caravan Club taking over, but the objected to the possibility that they would be removed from the site.
Councillor Clark agreed with this sentiment explaining that the Caravan Club was going to be great for the town but he also expressed his upset that the static owners would have to go.
He said: “We wish we could take you with us.”
In the public gallery there were also many Stonehaven residents who were there to support the proposals with one describing the Caravan Club’s take-over bid as “absolutely vital”.
He added that Stonehaven is not the only site in the world and that other places would also be trying to woo the Caravan Club and therefore the town must be careful not to push them away.
Mr Budd warned that the process may take some time, adding that it was a long process which was like “walking through treacle.”