Traveller site to cross estate owner’s land
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