Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and minutes

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No. Item




The Chairman opened the meeting and welcomed Members of the Sub-Committee and members of the public to the meeting.  This special meeting was to consider one item of urgent business and was being held remotely in order to adhere to guidance on public meetings and social distancing currently in place, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.




Hawick Common Haugh Car Park

Consider request to use Hawick Common Haugh for a Caravan Rally for three days from 30 July 2020.


The Estates Strategy Survey, Mr Curtis, explained that a request had been received for permission to use the Common Haugh Car Park for an informal Campervan Rally for three days from 30 July 2020.  The co-ordinator of the event, had explained that approximately 20 campervans might attend and other than ‘gathering’ no formal event would be held during their stay.   The co-ordinator had asked if an additional area could be cordoned off to accommodate the campervans.  Mr Curtis explained that there was a designated space for eight campervans in the car park.  However, an area used for school buses could be coned off, which would meet their requirements.   The co-ordinator had advised that they did not require sanitary provisions, other than access to the public water tap in the car park.  She was also willing to hold a register of names and addresses for contact tracing if necessary.  The Flood Protection Team confirmed that the event would not impact their works and the co-ordinator had been advised.    Mr Curtis went on to advise that campervans were permitted under the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) to park for a maximum of 48 hours in the Common Haugh car park.


2.2    The Chief Legal Officer, Mrs McKinlay, explained that in terms of COVID-19 regulations, restrictions still applied to ‘gatherings’; which was defined as where people met to undertake an activity together or socialise together.  Simply being present at the same place at the same time was not a gathering.    The information received in connection with the event, was that this was not a joint activity, people arrived at the same place and the same time but social interaction between them was restricted.  Mrs McKinlay clarified that regulations currently allowed up to five households, to gather outside provided they complied with social distancing.  In response to a questions, Mrs McKinlay advised that the event could legally take place provided they followed the regulations.  If the Sub-Committee agreed to extend an invitation to the group, advice and assistance would be given to the co-ordinator around additional responsibilities to be undertaken.   Any breach of COVID-19 regulations would be a matter for Police Scotland.  


  2.3     The Network Manager highlighted that under the provisions of the Street Parking Places Order 2019, no person(s) should use a parking place for sleeping, camping or cooking, although it would be difficult to undertake enforcement action.   The Sub-Committee could grant permission for use of the Common Haugh car park for overnight stays for the three day period requested.


2.4    In response to a question, the Emergency Planning Officer, Mr McLean, advised that the Emergency Planning Team had been in contact with the co-ordinator, who had explained, they were a group of caravan enthusiasts who were in this instance travelling to Hawick. They kept to themselves and visited local tourist attractions.


2.5    Following discussion, it was noted that since the move to Phase 3 of Scotland’s route map, campervans were already parking in the car park and that the event would benefit local  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.



Scottish Borders Council

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