THE OWNERS OF a popular Moray caravan park have hit out at a decision by councillors on Tuesday that they say was ‘heavily biased’ against them.
Barry and Ruth Scott have invested a great deal of time and money into regenerating the West Beach Caravan Park in Hopeman, creating a vital service for tourism in the region.
However, they have clashed head-on with planning officials at Moray Council who, the couple say, showed unfair biased in reaction to the continuing complaining of a neighbour.
At a meeting of the planning and regulatory services committee yesterday, councillors sanctioned a Section 33A notice being served on the park owners, requiring them to submit a retrospective planning application for a single caravan unit. Mr and Mrs Scott, however, insist that the caravan in question is correctly positioned within the boundaries of their site – and that has already received planning permission.
Following a decision that was made with no discussion by committee members, two of whom represent the Heldon & Laich ward on which the site stands, Barry Scott told insideMORAY: “We are extremely disappointed with the outcome of the planning and regulatory services committee but are not surprised that this is the outcome.
“The councillors were presented with a ten-page report written by a planning enforcement officer which, in our opinion, lacked significant detail and was heavily biased in favour of alleviating the continual complaining of our neighbour.
“If the council wished to prevent any caravans being located on the area in question, our caravan park licence should have been issued with such a condition. This was not the case and it remains our position that any enforcement action will not be competent.
“Thankfully on receipt of the Enforcement Notice we can take this matter out of the hands of Moray Council and refer it to the Scottish Government who we believe will have a more objective view.”
Councillors were informed
Before Tuesday’s meeting, the Scott’s sent details of their existing site licence issued by Moray Council that included a map showing the site boundary within which they were licenced to erect 151 caravans.
Mr Scott said: “This was issued by Moray Council with our current site licence – it clearly shows that the area where the offending caravan is positioned lies within our licensed boundary.
“West Beach Caravan Park is licenced for 151 caravans. We currently have 93 caravans on the park and as such the offending caravan is permitted within our licence.”
At the time of issuing the licence, Moray Council, the couple said, had an option to lay conditions on the positioning of those caravans – but they failed to do so, and that, they insist, will form the basis of their appeal to the Scottish Government.