Con­tro­ver­sial plan slammed as ‘dan­ger­ous for our chil­dren’:

Bangor Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Gareth Wyn Wil­liams

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

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