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New Orange Lodge opens in Stonehaven after parade banned

Police in Stonehaven
Police surrounded entrances to the local town hall as members arrived

A new Orange Lodge has opened in Stonehaven after a march through the town was banned.

The Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland lost its appeal against Aberdeenshire Council's decision to prevent 200 members parading to Dunottar Cemetery.

The organisation said it was considering its legal position.

Police officers surrounded the entrances to the local town hall as members arrived at the building for a wreath-laying ceremony on Saturday.

Some businesses decided to close while the new lodge was opened amid concerns over potential disorder.

Organisers had maintained the march would be a "peaceful and respectful procession".

But Aberdeenshire Council's Kincardine and Mearns area committee decided unanimously on 5 March that the planned procession could not go ahead for safety reasons.

Councillors felt it would place an excessive burden on local policing.

An online petition against the parade had received thousands of signatures.

After lengthy deliberations at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Friday, the Lodge's appeal against the ban was refused.

Lawyers for the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland argued in court that blocking the march was a breach of human rights and domestic law.

They said the reasons for blocking the parade were "inadequate, unbalanced and lacked transparency".