New traveller halting site for Newtonhill?

a TRAVELLER halting site could be opened on land next to Newtonhill.

Representatives from Elsick Estate have named a site north of the telephone exchange, directly across the A90 from Tesco, as a possible location for the site, which they are required to provide as part of their plans for a new town.

All significant developments in Aberdeenshire are now required to provide a halting site for travellers. They have to provide space for six to eight caravans, a water supply, refuse facilities and a portable toilet. The location also has to provide reasonable access to employment, education, community facilities and the main road network.

The possibility of a traveller site on the land, which is zoned for employment land in the local plan, has angered some members of Newtonhill, Muchalls and Cammachmore community council.

Speaking at the May meeting of the community council, vice-chairman Michael Morgan said: “Elsick have to provide a halting site, and they seem to have decided on the land north of the telephone exchange. I don’t agree with that.

“They have plenty of land, and to place it between Elsick and Newtonhill is not right. It is the worst place possible to put it.”

Chairperson Rhoda Nelson said: “The people of Newtonhill need to know about this so that they can make their views known.”

North Kincardine Councillor Ian Mollison told the meeting: “I have been contacted by a number of residents who are concerned about this. My advice is to contact planners at Aberdeenshire Council, the community council, and the representatives from Elsick and make your views heard.

“Now is the time to do it. The developers at Elsick are being quite receptive to people’s opinions. Don’t just sit back and let it happen if you don’t agree with it.”

Mr Morgan said that residents of Newtonhill and the surrounding area will be given the opportunity to express their opinions on this and a range of other issues at the Making It Real event which will take place in the village on June 4.

The event is a follow up to a Planning for Real exercise which took place in 2009, and will give residents a chance to have their say on what they like and dislike about the area.

A scale model of Newtonhill will be on display, and a there will be a graffiti wall and suggestion box for visitors to air their views.

Volunteering will also be high on the agenda, and those interested will be able to find out more about opportunities for volunteering in the area. Mr Morgan explained that he hoped to establish a volunteering base “for people who want to contribute to the community in some way.”

A climbing wall will also be there on the day for those who wat to give it a go, amd residents of Newtonhill will receive a leaflet about the event in the next week or so.

The Making It Real day takes place on Saturday June 4 at the Bettridge Centre, from 10am-4pm.