Fears of ru­ined coast­line

Tourism: Anger over lit­ter left by vis­i­tors

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY KIRSTEN ROBERT­SON

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.

Pho­to­graph by Chris Sum­ner

PIC­TURESQUE: It has been claimed tourists leave mess at the beach at Cat­ter­line.

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