Planning officers back stopping site for Gypsies and Travellers near A55

Planning officers are recommending proposals to create a stopping site for gypsies and travellers near the A55.

The move to give the green light comes despite locals describing the spot as “unsuitable, wet and dangerous.”

On Wednesday, Anglesey’s Planning Committee will discuss a change of use of agricultural land for use as a temporary stopping place for Gypsies and Travellers, capable of holding 10 pitches.

The plans, which have been submitted by the authority’s housing service, have been earmarked for a narrow strip of land lying between the A5 and A55 at Star, near Gaerwen.

However, the proposals have attracted much local opposition with Penmynydd and Star Community Council having collected a petition of 1,591 signatures against the plans.

According to the community council’s own submission, the land is “unsuitable, wet and dangerous,” and the proposed 2.4 metre fence enclosing the site could have an impact on tourism.

Some 39 letters of objection have also been received by the council, highlighting similar concerns as well as a lack of meaningful consultation with the gypsy and traveller community as well as the noise, safety and traffic impact, with the site being described as “generally unsuitable.”

The three local members representing the Aethwy ward, have all asked for the plans to be “called-in” to committee, also citing their clear opposition.

Cllr Meirion Jones said, “The basis of the objection locally is that the site is unsuitable for people to live for a short period or for any period of time.

“The people referred to are Gypsies but I emphasise that we refer to them as people.

“The application includes so many shortcomings that it isn’t acceptable or safe to approve.”

The proposed traveller site between Gaerwen and Llanfairpwll

The proposed traveller site between Gaerwen and Llanfairpwll (Image: Daily Post)

But the report that will be presented to members on Wednesday, recommends that the plans should be approved.

Countering local concerns that the site is a potential flood risk, Natural Resources Wales, as result of the Flood Consequence Assessment, are satisfied that the level of risk is acceptable and in line with TAN 15 guidelines.

North Wales Police has also offered no formal objection, but according to the report, did raise an observation on the site’s proximity to the A5.

In response, council officers noted: “The Council intends to fit infrastructure to enable the installation of CCTV, should it be required in the future.

“The safety of all users, including children, has been considered during the design process, and mitigation has been included in the site design process.

“As a result, a secure boundary along the curtilage of the A5 is proposed as part of the scheme design. The design incorporates a 2.4 metre high security mesh fence along the southern boundary of the site together with mechanical sliding gates and a pedestrian gate both of a similar height to the fence.

“The gates will be secured and operated by a key pad locking system ensuring safe and secure access and egress.”

A decision is expected when Anglesey Council’s Planning Committee meets in Llangefni on Wednesday.

Share your views about this story using the comment section below.