A plan to establish permanent gypsy traveller pitches on a private site near Haddington has been given the go-ahead by councillors.
The proposal from Eddie Grey and his family, Scottish travellers, for their home at 8A West Garleton Holdings is the first of its kind in East Lothian.
East Lothian Council’s planning committee heard that two individual permanent gypsy traveller pitches, with three caravans per pitch, were planned – as were alterations to a building to use as a shower/toilet facility and two utility units. The planning application attracted 22 objections and 69 supporters.
Architect and town planning consultant Forbes Marr, Mr Grey’s agent, explained: “East Local Council’s Local Plan, its vision, its community planning process and the work on the local housing strategy all support the principle of encouraging and supporting new, or additional, permanent residence, regardless of their ethnic status and respectful of their accommodation needs.
“Traveller families predominantly live in caravans and some, like my clients, wish to pursue the nomadic element of their lifestyle from a secure base that allows them to lock into the community services enjoyed by the settled community.
“It would allow the men in the family to go on the road to work, leaving the women and children still locked into health and education – that is the way the government is promoting the future care for the needs of this community.”