Highlands & Islands

Harris Tweed weaver fights caravan order

A weaver given six months by a council to move out of a caravan next to his place of work has been allowed more time to find alternative accommodation.

Eric Brierley said the Harris Tweed Act 1993 required weavers to operate at, or close to, their home.

He said a lack of affordable housing on Bernera, Lewis, left him with no choice but to stay near a workshop at Kirkibost harbour.

The Scottish government has given him 12 months to sort out accommodation.

Western Isles council - Comhairle nan Eilean Siar - said that by staying at a former fish smokehouse in an industrial area, Mr Brierley breached planning rules.

The weaver appealed against the council's enforcement notice.

In his appeal form, he said there was a shortage of affordable housing on Bernera and he would have to wait two years for a council house.

Mr Brierley added: "As a newly qualified Harris Tweed weaver, the Harris Tweed Act 1993 requires weavers to operate at, or close to their place of residence.

"Therefore, moving me out of my caravan at the smokehouse, will effectively make me unemployed."

He said he had applied for planning permission to stay in the caravan.

A reporter, a planning official appointed by the Scottish government, said the local authority had not given a reason for allowing the weaver only six months.

He extended the time in the council's order by another six months.

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