Consultation on gypsy and traveller sites to begin
Proposals for gypsy and traveller sites on Anglesey will be published later this week as part of a comprehensive public consultation.
Under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014, Anglesey County Council is legally required to assess and meet the accommodation needs of the Gypsy and Traveller Communities. Over recent months, work has been carried out to identify possible locations for gypsy and traveller sites on the Island.
A detailed short-list of possible sites will be published as part consultation document on Thursday (February 11th). It will include a survey for communities and residents to provide feedback on proposed sites for a permanent residential site in the south of the Island and two temporary stopping places – one in the centre of the Island and one in the Holyhead area.
The County Council will be consulting on:
- a permanent residential site in the Menai area (south of the Island)
- a Temporary Stopping Place in the centre of the Island
- a Temporary Stopping Place in the Holyhead area
Public drop-in sessions and meetings with town and community councils will be arranged in communities where sites are being considered. These will give residents and local representatives an opportunity to find out more about potential sites and have their say about their suitability.
An independent advocate will also be brought in to consult with travellers currently living at the tolerated existing encampment, off the A5025 between Menai Bridge and Pentraeth.
Anglesey Chief Executive, Dr Gwynne Jones, said, “We’re committed to ensuring that this important month-long public consultation gives all interested parties a chance to have their say. Feedback from residents and communities around the proposed sites will be vital in helping us reach an informed final decision.”
Following the end of the consultation period on March 11th, all views will be considered and will inform recommendations made to the Council’s Executive later that month. The recommended sites will be put forward for inclusion within the Local Development Plan and work will proceed with planning applications for site development.
Authorised sites would be managed by the local authority or a body they appoint, ensuring that the site is well maintained, and action can be taken if site rules are breached.
An electronic copy of the consultation document and survey will also be available at www.anglesey.gov.uk from the afternoon of Thursday, February 11th.
Notes to Editors:
A Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment (GTAA) was produced jointly by Isle of Anglesey County Council and Gwynedd Council during the Autumn 2015. On Anglesey, the GTAA identified the need for:
A permanent residential site to meet the needs of the New Travellers arising from the tolerated site at Pentraeth Road (four pitches)
Two sites to be used as Temporary Stopping Places for Gypsies and Travellers along the A55 on Anglesey, one in the Holyhead area and one in the centre of the Island.
The Council has been working with the Gwynedd and Anglesey Joint Planning and Policy Unit to identify potential sites to meet the identified need.
The term Gypsies and Travellers includes Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers, as well as people from any group who follow a travelling life. It also includes Travelling Show people and New Travellers where they have a history of travelling and living in mobile homes.
Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers are defined as minority ethnic groups under the Race Relations Act (1976). There are a number of Gypsy and Traveller communities, each have different histories and traditions.
The current lack of authorised sites on the Island is the reason for the unauthorised tolerated development of the site on the A5025 without planning permission, and unauthorised encampments on roadsides, car parks or other pieces of land in other parts of the Island.
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