EXCLUSIVE – New battle ahead for peace camp

The Peace Camp at Faslane is facing a battle with planners after complaints by nearby residents.

The anti-nuclear campaigners have been accused of constructing a large building without planning permission on the site at Shandon.

Concerns about the issue were raised at this month’s meeting of Rhu and Shandon Community Council, which heard that details of what was permitted at the site were ‘vague’; it was believed that a small number of caravans and tents were allowed – but not buildings.

The camp’s Facebook page includes a ‘wishlist’ appeal for various items to be used in a ‘new communal’, including clay for plastering walls, wood, carpets, roofing felt, sand and cement.

The site is owned by Argyll and Bute Council, which inherited it from the former Dumbarton District Council in the 1990s, and the issue will be raised at Thursday’s meeting of the full council.

A motion put forward by Cllr George Freeman notes the ‘serious concerns’ and calls for a full report by officers with details of any unauthorised building and the options available to address it.

He also requests details of the current planning permission for the site, and of the lease between the council and the peace camp, as well as any licensing issues.

After a high profile court case the council was granted an eviction order for the site in 1998, but this has never been acted on; Cllr Freeman’s motion, which is backed by his fellow Lomond North representative Maurice Corry, also asks for information about this.

The peace camp was in the news earlier this year when its residents – then numbering just four – said it might have to close on its 31st anniversary, with the site being converted into a memorial garden.

But in May it was announced that a stronger group of residents had been created, as well as a wider network of support, safeguarding its future.

The community councillors are insisting that Argyll and Bute ‘apply the planning regulations in that same way as they do with everyone’, saying they have concerns over health and safety, fire regulations and other issues.

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