Travellers who were threatened with groundbreaking legal action to evict them from an authorised camp in Kinross-shire could be given another year to bring the site up to scratch.
Families living at the remote Crook Moss site, near Fossoway, face having planning permission revoked after failing to comply with a series of enforcement notices.
If Perth and Kinross Council withdraws its consent for the camp, it will be first time such action has been taken in Scotland.
The site was granted retrospective permission to house up to 15 Gypsy/Traveller caravans in 2013, despite objections from residents. But a series of planning conditions has not been met and, in March, councillors agreed to give the Crook of Devon Travelling community one last chance to comply.
Six months on and several conditions remain outstanding. However, the local authority now accepts that some of its demands are out of the Travellers’ hands. For example, one of the 17 conditions called for a safe and clean water supply to be put in place at the site.
In a report to Wednesday’s development management committee, development quality manager Nick Brian said: “The residents have applied for mains water connection to the site but there appeared to be a lack of progress, the reasons for which had not been entirely clear.
“This has been the subject of positive discussion between the planning authority and Scottish Water and I am reasonably confident that this condition can and will be complied with.”
He warned a further enforcement order may not work at this stage. “This (notice) would require the cessation of the use of the site and removal of the development and a return to its former use as an inert waste tip as a result of failure to comply with planning conditions.
“An enforcement notice could be served by the planning authority, stipulating the removal of all development and caravans.” He said the notice could be subject to an appeal. “A key consideration of an appeal would be whether all options for resolving the situation had been exhausted.”
The committee has been asked to agree to a further 12-month period to get the site connected to water, drainage and electricity.
Councillor Willie Robertson called for action in March, after receiving repeated complaints from residents about noisy power generators. He said yesterday: “The residents of Crook Moss have agreed to site their generators within the wooded area below the site and house them to reduce the noise as much as possible. They also agreed to ask any new residents of the site to do likewise.”
He said: “I am hopeful that this will at least deal with the complaints of noise that have been raised by local residents ever since the site was occupied.”