FURIOUS residents of a Kinross-shire community are urging their council to call a halt to the development of a gypsy traveller site on land previously used as a tip.
Villagers in Crook of Devon say they have watched in horror as caravans, vans and portable toilets moved on to the land at Crook Moss without permission, blighting views of the Ochil Hills and posing a potential danger to health.
They are calling on Perth and Kinross Council to throw out what is described as a ‘partly retrospective’ application to establish five gypsy traveller pitches, each of which could accommodate three caravans and associated facilities.
Residents turned out in force to a public meeting held by Fossoway and District Community Council to air their concerns about the plans, which are awaiting consideration by the local authority.
They say that as recently as 2009 the site was being used for landfill purposes, with builders’ waste being dumped that they fear could be contaminated, creating a health risk for anyone living there.
In addition, they say that the land is prone to flooding - hence the name ‘Moss’ - and that the local school, Fossoway Primary, is already at capacity and would struggle to accommodate the travellers’ children.
Villagers are also upset by the visual impact of the site, which is situated at the entrance of the village.
One protester said: “It is disgraceful - portable loos are visible approaching the village yet some residents are not even allowed to have a caravan on the driveway to their house.”
Others feared that if the application was permitted it would open the floodgates for other developers to begin work before receiving the go-ahead and make a ‘mockery’ of the current planning regulations.
Objectors also take issue with the applicants’ assertion that there is a shortage of gypsy traveller accommodation in the area, saying that the group are well provided for with sites at Abernethy, Greenacre and Gairneybridge.