Trav­eller site to cross es­tate owner’s land

North Wales Weekly News - - WRITTEN BY YOU - BY DAVID POW­ELL

ALANDOWNER has slammed an al­leged lack of con­sul­ta­tion over a plan to let gyp­sies and trav­ellers stay on his es­tate.

Conwy Coun­cil has ap­proved a lo­ca­tion for tem­po­rary vis­i­tors near Bodel­wyd­dan.

But landowner Dickon Fether­ston­haugh, of the Kin­mel es­tate, claims it runs across his land and is call­ing on the lo­cal au­thor­ity to pro­vide more in­for­ma­tion about what it means for him.

Conwy Coun­cil’s cab­i­net has also ap­proved a per­ma­nent site for gyp­sies and trav­ellers off Ban­gor Road in Conwy but that has also at­tracted con­tro­versy.

On the plan to use the for­mer Smithy Layby near Bodel­wyd­dan for tem­po­rary stays, Mr Fether­ston­haugh said: “It’s def­i­nitely not Bodel­wyd­dan. It’s on the St George side of the (Conwy/Den­bighshire) county bor­der. But they don’t want it to say ‘St George’. I can think of no other rea­son.”

He also crit­i­cised an al­leged lack of con­sul­ta­tion: “My view is it beg­gars belief that the coun­cil have de­cided — even at Cab­i­net level — to vote th­ese two sites through with­out any con­sul­ta­tion with the lo­cal com­mu­nity. They have not asked me if I would re­lease the land.”

He said the choice of the for­mer Smithy Layby site is “sur­pris­ing” be­cause it is within view of a listed build­ing — Grade I-listed Ll­wyni Lodge also known as Golden Lodge — and a Grade II-listed park at Grade I-listed Kin­mel Hall which is known as the “Welsh Ver­sailles”.

Mr Fether­ston­haugh said the ef­fect of the gypsy and trav­ellers’ site on St George may be “con­sid­er­able”.

“We have a very small, very popular, very over­sub­scribed school. This could have a con­sid­er­able im­pact on it. Many peo­ple say crime will go up near gypsy sites. I don’t know if that’s true.

“Conwy have not given any de­tails how the site is to be man- aged. I don’t even know if they need elec­tric­ity and they may have to cross es­tate land. If the coun­cil will not give me in­for­ma­tion I will put in a Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Act re­quest.”

How­ever, one thing Mr Fether­ston­haugh says he is not wor­ry­ing about is the ef­fect of any gyp­sies or trav­ellers on the value of his prop­erty.

“We bought the es­tate in 1786 and I’m not go­ing to sell any time soon.”

Mr Fether­ston­haugh has sent three emails to Conwy Coun­cil staff ask­ing for a meet­ing, so far with­out suc­cess.

Conwy Coun­cil said: “The Plan­ning Pol­icy Team will be re­spond­ing to Mr Fether­ston- haugh’s queries di­rect.”

Cl­wyd West AM Dar­ren Mil­lar and Abergele Town Coun­cil have ar­ranged a pub­lic meet­ing at St George Vil­lage Hall on Jan­uary 9 at 7pm.

Dickon Fether­ston­haugh fears the pro­posed gypsy and trav­eller site will im­pact on the com­mu­nity of St George

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