GYPSIES SAY SITE’S IN THE WRONG PLACE
Controversial plan slammed as ‘dangerous for our children’:
A MEMBER of the gypsy community says his family would never use a site that’s being proposed near two busy highways, amid safety fears.
Anglesey Council has submitted a planning application for a temporary stopping site at Star, near Gaerwen, located between the A55 and A5.
According to the council, the development would reduce the risk of unauthorised encampments elsewhere and is expected to be used by travellers on their way to and from Ireland.
But, according to one prominent member of the North Wales gypsy community, the council has “ignored” their views and is “determined” to forge ahead with the site.
The man, who did not wish to be named, said that his family spend around two months every year on the island, usually near the Mona industrial estate.
“I’ve been visiting Anglesey for over 20 years and have got along with locals, certainly doing our best not to give the gypsy community a bad name,” he said.
“When we were made aware that Anglesey Council were planning to install an official site, we were obviously delighted as it would make everyone’s lives easier.
“In fairness, they asked us what we would like, and we were hopeful they would act on what we recommended. But, for whatever reason, they seem to have gone in the opposite direction.
“It’s hard to fathom why they have chosen to use a strip of land which has the A55 one side and the A5 the other. We have children. Would anyone be happy having cars speeding past in both directions?
“On top of the safety problems, there’s the noise problem. You have cars going back and forth 24 hours a day. Would you want to live next to a dual carriageway?”
According to Anglesey Council, Capita consulted with the gypsy and traveller community throughout the process.
But, according to our sister paper the Daily Post’s source, while they requested a more permanent, transit facility, the authority’s plans are for a temporary stopping place.
“The council says it will be available for up to three weeks at a time. But we’re looking for somewhere that can be used for two months, possibly more.
“What’s being proposed is basically a few portaloos that will be taken there when the caravans arrive. But what we’d want is something more permanent, hard standing facilities.
“If this is what they’re planning to build, it’s going to be a disaster. Everyone I’ve spoken to doesn’t want to use a site like that.
“Fine, if that’s what Anglesey Council wants to build, we can’t stop them but I don’t think ratepayers will be very happy that their money is being spent on something that won’t be used.
“It all seems to me like it’s a rush job so that the council can say they have a temporary site, while ignoring everything they supposedly consulted us about.”
According to the council, those residing at the site, designed to accommodate up to 10 caravans, will be expected to pay rates and rent, with Welsh Government funding being sought to help pay for the developments.
A spokesperson said: “Anglesey Coun- cil is legally required by the Housing Act (Wales) 2014 to assess and meet the accommodation needs of the population. This includes the needs of the gypsy and traveller community. The Anglesey and Gwynedd Gypsy and Travellers Accommodation Needs Assessment (2016) confirmed the need for temporary stopping sites on the Island.
“The Temporary Stopping Place is intended to provide short term accommodation for a maximum period of 2-3 weeks at a time. A new, safe vehicular access point will be providing direct access to the A5 and there will be a secure boundary fence on all sides and lockable gate. A small grass area will be retained as an informal play area which will be secured with fencing, should there be any small children using the site.”
There’s local opposition to the planned gypsy site at Star – now those it’s meant for are voicing doubts too
Sign objecting to a proposed gypsy and travellers site at Star, near Gaerwen