LEGAL action will be taken to remove travellers who are occupying waste ground close to Prestwick Airport.

This came after residents were concerned about the travellers around Shaw Road/Monument Crescent, known locally as ‘Spotters Hill’.

However, it is understood that they were given until noon on Sunday, January 7 to remove themselves from the location but as we went press, the situation remained and they were still in the area.

A spokesperson for South Ayrshire Council, said: “We are in the process of taking legal action to remove the travellers. In the meantime, we are working with our partners to minimise their impact on Airport operations and on the local community.”

Cllr Hugh Hunter explained on social media that a Travelling Persons Site Manager and Police Scotland had been “linking closely” to liaise with the encampment to “identify their intentions”.

He said: “I can advise that council officers in Neighbourhood Services arranged for a clean-up of the area and left a mixture of refuse sacks and temporary bins to minimise the impact on both the airport and our communities.

“As a result of no definitive timescales for leaving being indicated by the encampment, a decision was taken to progress with notice on the encampment. This was served by Stirling Park and gives the travellers until noon on Sunday, January 7 to remove themselves from this location. 

“Should they fail to move by that time, the council’s Legal Service will progress with a request for a court date to seek formal eviction.”

A spokesperson for Police Scotland confirmed that the travellers presence, whilst occupying the area, did not pose a security threat to Prestwick Airport, saying: “Police Scotland is aware of the existence of the unauthorised encampment near Prestwick Airport and of the legal action being taken by South Ayrshire Council who are the lead agency regarding this matter. 

“Police are monitoring the situation, however, we are, at this time, content that their presence does not pose any security threat.”