Aberdeenshire Council has vowed to take further enforcement action against an unauthorised Travellers site in St Cyrus after an appeal against one of its enforcement notices was upheld.
The Scottish Government has dismissed an enforcement notice which relates to removing a soil bund at North Esk park in St Cyrus, because the council’s notice contained “a number of ambiguities and uncertainties”.
The local authority, who issued the notice in September, has been criticised for giving a lack of detail about what remedial action is to be taken.
The notice also stated that the bund was located within a Site of Special Scientific Interest but did not define the boundaries of the SSSI.
The letter from case officer Jane Robertson of the Planning and Environmental Appeals Division states: “The steps required by the notice are so ambiguous that the owner cannot tell with reasonable certainty what is required to be done to remedy the alleged breach of planning control.
“Therefore, the lack of certainty about the steps to be taken renders the notice defective on its face and, thereby, a nullity.
“No further action can be taken in respect of this appeal and I have amended my records accordingly.”
The Reporter considering appeals to two other enforcement notices has been put on hold until a new retrospective planning application for the site is considered by Aberdeenshire Council.
These relate to the change of use from agricultural land to a stance caravan park and site for Travellers, toilet block, washroom, pump station and recycling point without planning permission.
Aberdeenshire Council’s head of planning and building standards Robert Gray, said the council is reviewing the decision.
He said: “We acknowledge the Reporter’s decision to revisit two of the enforcement appeals, relating to the permanent and temporary sites, pending the outcome of a further planning application recently submitted to the council for the Travellers site.
“We also acknowledge that the Reporter considered the Enforcement Notice relating to the bund a nullity due to a lack of clarity of the SSSI boundary and reinstatement works relying on the cooperation of Scottish Natural Heritage.
“The council are reviewing that decision and will be taking further enforcement action in respect of the bund.
“The Reporter’s decision on the bund does not affect our commitment to resolving the current situation and it is important to note that the remaining enforcement notices concerning the use of the site remain in place.”