Portobello caravans: Campers and vehicles gone from busy seaside beauty spot
Campers who occupied a popular beachfront beauty spot at Portobello have quit the site, after the council took legal action to force them out.
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Residents living in caravans and a wooden trailer at King’s Place car park have left the site following a bitter stand-off with Edinburgh City Council over the summer.
More than a dozen people who all lived and worked in the city have removed their vehicles from the council-owned land but one caravan that had been left behind had to be removed by Sheriff Officers today.
Two abandoned caravans had to be craned off the site in June, after the council issued a notice stating they were 'an obstruction' under roads legislation.
Campers lived on the promenade site for nearly five years, sparking complaints among local residents who claimed the campers threw rubbish and toilet waste on the beach.
Local cafes owners also complained to the council that the presence of the caravans at the site was damaging their business.
But campers fought the eviction claiming it was a breach of their human rights and launched a petition which topped 500 signatures.
They told the Evening News that they offered to pay the council to remain on the site but claimed housing officers repeatedly failed to help them and that they were being forced into homelessness.
Last week they made a desperate last-ditch plea for help to the council and local landowners in hopes of remaining on the site or nearby, so they could remain together and keep local jobs.
The council said they plan to conduct a community consultation on future use of the site, which is part of the council’s Travelling Safely network of routes, originally Spaces for People.
A council spokesperson said: “Following an order issued by the Sherriff Court, and significant communication between occupants and the council, the majority of caravans on King’s Place were moved by owners. One remaining unoccupied caravan was removed by Sheriff Officers today, in line with the order, and will be stored and disposed of if unclaimed.
“Access will now be restricted for the use of pedestrians and cyclists, with planters installed to secure the site, and longer term we intend to engage with the community on future uses for the area.”