BARRICADE UP TO KEEP SITE CLEAR
ATRAVELLERS’ site that became a fly-tipping hotspot has been cleared up and secured with a makeshift moat. The road and surrounding fields were left covered with vast amounts of tyres, white goods and litter, plus wrecked and abandoned caravans.
After months of security patrols most of the litter has been cleared from the Tatton Road site in Newport.
The site has been secured by two rows of large concrete blocks, resembling enormous Lego bricks. Between them is a row of huge millstones.
Behind those a four-foot deep ditch has been dug across the road. Filling with rainfall, it has become like a moat.
If anyone gets past that they’ll struggle to get a caravan over the mud embankment behind it.
“The site has been secured and cleared for the purposes of redeveloping the land to stimulate economic and employment opportunities in the Newport area,” a Welsh Government spokesman said.
The Welsh Government, which owns the land, refused to reveal the cost to the taxpayer of cleaning up the site.
But it has been estimated at “hundreds of thousands of pounds”.
Newport councillor Allan Morris represents the area.
“It’s been a nightmare from the very first day,” he said.
“We were not consulted as councillors when they went there. It’s cost an absolute fortune. It was ill thought-through.”
Travellers were granted “tolerated” status by the Welsh Government after being moved to the site in 2012.
“It’s been one problem another,” Coun Morris said.
“The families living there initially were not the problem. It was the people who came from afar and were pitched up outside. after
“That is when the problems began. It’s cost an absolute fortune to secure the premises.
“I would like to see the place cleared up and used for industry for the creation of jobs and wealth.”
The politician said “an awful lot of jobs” could have been created with the cash that had been spent clearing up the site.
“There was no consultation with the community when they arrived – the Welsh Government didn’t feel it had to,” Coun Morris said.
“It all happened overnight, despite protestations.
“A couple of years later hundreds of thousands of pounds have been spent. It’s a little bit irritating, to say the least.
“They’ve been a huge drain on resources at a time when local government needs every penny.”
Coun Morris recognised travellers “have got to live somewhere”.
“They are not all bad and many are as irritated by the mess left as the rest of us. But it is those who leave places in that way that give everyone a bad name.”