Campers living in a car park on the Portobello beachfront are furious after finding a letter in a plant pot giving them seven days to vacate the site - your views online

"Surely after five years something more permanent could have been sorted out”

By The Newsroom
Monday, 19th July 2021, 7:00 am
An abandoned caravan is removed from the Portobello site

Caravan concern

Campers living in a car park on the Portobello beachfront are furious after finding a letter in a plant pot giving them seven days to vacate the site

Claire A A Eadie

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Surely it is in the council’s interest to help these people find space where their caravans can be accommodated instead of just telling them to vacate. Save on the legal process?

Lindarose McArthur

I don't think they have the right to place their caravans there. They may have been there five years, but they did not seek permission to leave their caravans there. It's not like a caravan park, where there is proper facilities for them. People round about them will be paying council tax for their facilities, why should they not? Further up the road the residents are paying very high council taxes and some of their services have been cut. We are not paying higher council taxes to subsidise others. I think they should be moved on and should have been a long time ago. I walk the prom regularly and at one point counted 20 caravans.

Steve Hickman

So what happened to any litter or waste they produced and where did they get fresh water from? The rest of us have to pay the local council and Scottish Water for these services.

Louisa Collie

Aye, like it's going to become a car park again! The council are wanting to make a mint renting the space to the businesses. Do we get to complain when they're moved if we can't park there after?

William Fleeting

Well, all I can say is the council would have moved travellers on in two weeks. They they treat the travellers differently and they have been there five years. Travellers get pushed off a lay-by quicker. I rest my case.

Mo Connolly

These are tourer type vans, not static caravans,so I don’t think they should be allowed to remain there. I do understand it is somebody’s home, but surely after five years something more permanent could have been sorted out. I also sympathise with anyone living there -can’t be easy in winter time. I also think the “camp” is a serious fire hazard, if one van caught fire, because of close proximity, other vans could catch alight. I’ve seen caravan fires, they go up in minutes.

Caroline Pennycook

Thank goodness the council are actually now dealing with this! The unauthorised caravan occupation of the car park has almost completely blocked access to other beach users who are reliant on the car park for access. I gave up trying to visit two years ago after fearing that I wasn't going to be able to actually extricate my vehicle due to the extreme congestion caused by the resident caravans. Not to mention the eyesore and the fact that the rubbish etc lying about made the place feel grimy. I do hope they are supported to find somewhere more appropriate to reside, but this is long overdue.

Lynne Clapperton

Seton Sands will only let you in for four weeks at a time and it’s not open after November, so can’t see them getting in there. They want everything for free by the looks of it, no council tax, no rent, no gas, no electricity. My site fees were over £4500 for my static, and gas, electric, water, sewage and insurance were paid when due, so it runs about £6000 and that’s only from March to November. You wonder why they picked a car park!

Emily Peel Yates

So sad. Lovely little community. They are not campers, this is their home. They keep the place immaculate and are not obstructing anyone. It’s not a car park any more as access to all cars was blocked off by Spaces for People. This will make them homeless. This is a contentious issue here in Porty, but they also have a lot of local support - though not everyone for sure.

Dave Love

I was wondering about the legality of them being there about two weeks ago when I went past. I guess I have my answer. I do think the council should offer them support and somewhere to go. They have a legal obligation to offer such to travellers, so they should do the same for them.

John Hewit

They’ve been there five years. I really don’t see them moving in the next week. Most of them aren’t travellers, so can’t just up sticks and move. They have been told repeatedly over the years to move and haven’t bothered. I don’t see this being any different.

Ben Notarangelo

Would it be OK if I just decided to build a house on any piece of land and then claim it as my own without paying for the plot or rates etc? No! So why are they able to set up a caravan village in a prime location then moan when they are asked to leave?

Caye McKay

Perhaps the council would be more likely to let them stay if they paid a fee.