A TRAVELLER has been granted permission to build a caravan site despite a spate of objections.

William Johnstone applied to create four traveller pitches and amenity blocks for a total of 12 caravans.

He owns the site, a former quarry, beside the A719 between Waterside and Moscow.

The ‘principal chalet caravans’ on each pitch would have a living room, kitchen, two bedrooms and shower room. The four amenity blocks would boast a laundry and two wet rooms while the pitches would also have two tourers each.

Last week, East Ayrshire Council’s planning committee granted Mr Johnstone permission to build.

The family have been living in the council-run Redburn traveller site in Irvine, North Ayrshire which is too small for them.

Planning committee chair Jim Roberts said: “It got a good hearing. Five objectors spoke.”

Mr Roberts said concerns were voiced about road safety but the Ayrshire Roads Alliance did not object to the plan as long as certain conditions are in place.

SEPA was initially against the proposal over fears of flooding risk but removed an objection after concerns were addressed.

Fenwick and Moscow and Waterside community councils and a number of residents objected to the proposal.

Council officers recommended approval subject to conditions. Work had already started on the site without permission.

A supporting statement submitted on behalf of Mr Johnstone’s bid said ‘unauthorised encampments’ are creating a dire situation for the family.

It said: “Their circumstances present a serious threat to their safety, health and wellbeing.”

Moscow and Waterside Community Council called for those consulted on the matter to address fundamental issues.

A statement from the community council said: “Although further information has been submitt ed dur i ng t he long determination process, we are not at all reassured that the relevant consultees have studied the various documents.”

East Ayrshire Council plans to be the first in Scotland to set up official traveller stopping places, avoiding eviction as long as they follow a code of conduct.