A Moray caravan park has witnessed a second protest at its gates this week when two local traders attempted to draw attention to a dispute with the park owners.
The Silver Sands Park in Lossiemouth saw a similar drama under previous owners when local businessman Frank Ralph tried to remove his caravan from the site after a dispute over an excessive demand for doing so.
In the latest incident to hit the troubled park two local joiners, Brendan Mair and Ian Mair, staged a protest over what they claim was unpaid wages for work they recently carried out on the site.
However, the current site owners have dismissed their protest – insisting that the work of the pair, who are sole-traders based in Portknockie, was sub-standard and so a reduced fee had been agreed and paid.
The joiners carried out work on the site for nine weeks but claim that they were only paid for seven and a half – and were still owed £540.
Brendan Mair said: “We spent weeks going backwards and forwards and nobody told us we were finished – we want paid for the hours we put in.”
After holding a placard outside the gates of the site for several hours the pair was asked to move away by police. Mr Mair said: “Silver Sands said they did not want their grass damaged.
”We tried phoning the solicitor to see whether we had the right to stay put but could not get hold of anyone.”
Silver Sands’ park owner, Chek Whyte, claims to have spent over £1million on redevelopment at the site and insisted that £540 was “neither here nor there”.
However, Mr Whyte insists the pair had agreed to a reduced payment and signed a paper to that effect. He said: “They have been completely paid in full, last week they signed a paper agreeing the rate they would work for.
”The two joiners’ work was sub-standard – they agreed a payment and that they were happy to receive payment. After we paid them they said they were not happy, this was witnessed by my staff.”
In June 2012 Frank Ralph staged a six-hour standoff at the gates of the caravan park when representatives of former owners Lifestyle Group refused to allow him to leave with his caravan.
The camp owners insisted that they had the right to sell the van for a greatly reduced rate despite Mr Ralph having already found a new buyer himself. The site then insisted that he should pay £1000 to remove the van from the park.