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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 August, 2004, 10:53 GMT 11:53 UK
Trust's concerns over bypass plan
Camphill resident
The Camphill community focuses on all aspects of development
Campaigners have stepped up their battle to stop Aberdeen's new 120m bypass passing near a special needs community of adults and children.

The Camphill Village Trust's Newton Dee community at Milltimber has been home to residents with learning difficulties for decades.

They want the western peripheral route to bypass them as well as the city.

Aberdeen City Council said it would be November before it recommends the bypass route to the Scottish Executive.

The Camphill organisation was founded in Aberdeen almost 70 years ago and has grown into an international movement dedicated to helping adults and children with special needs.

The whole atmosphere of what we have built up here over so many years may actually be impossible for us to carry on
Dr Stefan Geider
There are more than 90 Camphill communities in 21 countries, including 47 in the UK and Ireland.

Dr Stefan Geider, of the Save Camphill campaign, told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme: "We have very many children and adults who have autism, other very complex learning disabilities, epilepsy and other compounding illnesses.

"I am very concerned about the noise, the stress levels, the safety levels, the attraction traffic can impose on the children and the adults.

"The whole atmosphere of what we have built up here over so many years may actually be impossible for us to carry on."

Traffic problems

Phyllis Jack, a long-term resident at Newton Dee, said: "This road if it comes, it would spoil the environment and take all our pleasure away from here.

"We don't know where we would go or anything like that, so I don't want it to come."

Campaigners also fear constant traffic noise could disrupt work done at the Camphill Rudolph Steiner school with children suffering from severe behavioural problems.

House co-ordinator Gorete Silva-Mendes said: "I think the behaviour would become aggressive behaviour, challenging behaviour, self-mutilation."

Lorraine Kelly
Lorraine Kelly has given her support to the campaign
She added: "I think the safety that we've got at the moment around us, that would be taken away."

But Geoff Runcie, the chief executive of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said a city bypass was badly needed.

Mr Runcie said: "It's important that we have an excellent trunk road running all the way from the central belt, when you come into Aberdeen you're onto essentially B and C roads in some cases and significant levels of congestion."

But opposition is growing to the route near Camphill, with celebrity backing for the campaign coming from television personalities Lorraine Kelly and Jeremy Paxman.

Dr Geider said he found it amazing that the transport minister, local MP Nicol Stephen, will be presented with more of an assessment of the roads impact on local wildlife than on local people.

Tractor protest stops bypass work
30 Mar 04  |  Scotland
Bypass plans on fast-track
19 Mar 03  |  Scotland
Aberdeen gets road bypass
27 Jan 03  |  Scotland

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