Council to take Travellers to court over illegal camping on beach

The Travellers were asked to leave the Ayr site by July 17, but they failed to do so.

South Ayrshire Council to take Travellers to court over illegal camping on Ayr beach Google Maps

Travellers who have set up an unauthorised encampment in Ayr are being taken to court.

The camp, made up of three caravans and other vehicles, were ordered to leave the site at the town’s Newton shore by Sunday, July 17.

But they were still there one week later.

The council have now taken the matter to court to order an eviction.

A Newton resident said: “We have the papers the travellers were served with last week and they were to be away from shore by July 17 at 4pm.

“They are still there and using the grass area. There is a public toilet covered in human faeces and dirty paper towels along with all the rest of their rubbish.”

A council spokesperson said an unauthorised encampment consisting of three caravans and associated vehicles was located at Newton Shore.

They added: “Notice to remove was issued last week and as the Travellers have failed to move on, court action has now been raised.”

The situation comes weeks after the new Conservative administration voted to search for alternative sites for a Traveller facility, despite a year-long search having narrowed the options down to one site.

The transit facility aims to provide a temporary halting site to avoid illegal encampments, like the one at Newton shore.

The previous SNP-lead administration had agreed on Cockhill Farm, outside Ayr, as its preferred location having exhausted other options which were either not in council ownership or faced significant objections.

The transit facility was estimated at around £900,000 with the local authority covering £500,000 of the cost.

At its first cabinet meeting since taking control of council in May, the Conservatives were to consider a recommendation that would have confirmed the preferred site within Cockhill Farm.

But the cabinet instead paused all work relating to the Cockhill site and ordered officials to pursue other landowners for alternatives, despite Cockhill Farm being the only option deemed suitable after a year of investigations.

The council will pursue discussions with the Traveller community and other landowners to consider alternatives.

A report will be brought back to the cabinet in September.

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