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Following a court hearing residents occupying the King’s Place site were given six weeks to vacate the Portobello site, which gives them until next Friday to remove their vehicles or face being forcibly removed and their vehicles destroyed.
More than a dozen people are living on the busy promenade site which is owned by Edinburgh City Council
Campers, who all live and work in the city, have been locked in a stand-off with the council for months.
They have been on the site for more than five years, prompting complaints from locals over rubbish and toilet waste on the beach.
Tensions escalated in summer when two abandoned caravans were craned off the site, after the council issued a notice stating they were 'an obstruction' under roads legislation. Campers insist eviction is a breach of their rights and have raised a petition with more than 500 signatures.
A further notice was served in July threatening legal action if they didn't quit the site. Campers claimed it was left in a plant pot.
The council was forced into court after the campers accused it of "blatant corruption" by acting to further the commercial interests of nearby hospitality businesses.
The current occupants who formed the King's Place Caravan Community group say they regularly clean up the beach beside the site.
Robert who lives in one of the caravans, said: “After the court hearing I asked the council if we could have more time to find another bit of land. Even just to get us through the winter months.
"They keep repeating that they engage with us. But there’s been no effort to provide real help. When they delivered the notice to quit in a plant pot they never talked to us, but we saw them talking to the businesses next door. The only ‘option’ they have given us is to register as homeless, chuck our caravan homes away and end up who knows where.
"We offered to pay to stay on this site but they didn’t answer us. We’ve looked at caravan parks but the rates there are for holidaymakers, not affordable for everyday living. We’d be as well trying to rent a flat. And for most of us that’s the reason we’re here. We couldn't afford to keep that up, especially during the pandemic. We hope to find land nearby, so we can keep our jobs. We don’t want to split up. It’s a community now. Time is almost up, I hope we find a landowner or farmer, anyone who can help us.”
"For months we’ve lived with this uncertainty. We could tie ourselves to the caravans guerilla style but what sort of life would that be always waiting for police to turn up. We just want to live in peace. We’re really grateful to be here.”
A council spokesperson said: “We are taking appropriate legal action to remove caravans and owners who are illegally occupying public land. We continue to liaise with the caravan occupants about the next steps keeping them up to date on our plans. This includes offering support and assistance to help them seek alternative accommodation and positive onward destinations."