Fears of ruined coastline
Tourism: Anger over litter left by visitors
Fears have been raised that inconsiderate holidaymakers risk ruining a stretch of picturesque Aberdeenshire coastline.
A number of locals in Catterline have raised concerns about the impact of some visitors on their community as part of a consultation.
The owners of Cloak Caravan Park are seeking to extend their site and increase the number of caravans on site from 46 to a potential 63.
They have sought the views of residents as part of the process and have received some vocal support, significant praise and the backing of planners.
But the consultation has also received a number of less than enthusiastic responses. One worried neighbour said their letter in opposition was written out of “desperation and despair”.
Ian Sim claims tourists at the site negatively leave their mark on the nearby beaches – most unpleasantly by using the beautiful coastline as a toilet.
He wrote in his objection letter: “Irresponsible visitors are leaving disregarded litter, dog mess and waste food at the harbour.
“To my shock and disgust they are leaving human faeces and using the beach and harbour surroundings as an open toilet.”
Other objectors claimed that the increased number of large vehicles using the single track road through Catterline would cause a significant safety risk to other cars and pedestrians.
Jane and Alan MacKenzie said some roads in the community were already blighted by dangerous junctions, poor visibility and a “lack of proper speed restrictions”.
And David Craig wrote: “This road is frequently used by pedestrians, dog walkers, children going to and from school and parents with young children in prams, so the increase in traffic will have a direct impact on pedestrian safety.”
Last night, caravan park owner Lindsay Soutar said he was “disappointed” at the response.
“The litter and waste is certainly not us – that idea is nonsense,” he said. “We are really big into recycling.
“I believe it is local divers who have no toilet facilities down at the beach.
“At the end of the day we hope the expansion would benefit the entire village and local businesses.”
Other residents have seen it as a blessing for the small town and a chance for the businesses to thrive. Richard Lennox wrote: “This proposal will help and continue to support the local area in terms of the tourists it attracts and the resulting economic benefits this brings to local attractions and businesses.
“We should be embracing the chance to boost popularity, not trying to drive away tourists.”
Councillors will be asked to back the plans next week.
PICTURESQUE: It has been claimed tourists leave mess at the beach at Catterline.