Posted: Tue 31st May 2016

Executive Approves Permanent Travellers’ Site At Penhesgyn

This article is old - Published: Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Anglesey’s Executive today (Tuesday, May 31st) approved plans to establish a permanent residential site for new age travellers on land at Penhesgyn, near Penmynydd. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The County Council is proposing to relocate four new age travellers currently living on the unauthorised encampment, in a layby on A5025 between Menai Bridge and Pentraeth, to the approved site. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

It will, however, still first need to undertake further investigative work to confirm the suitability and deliverability of the site from a highway safety and health impact perspective. Evidence gathered suggests that these matters can be resolved. Talks with the owner of an adjoining field will also be held with a view to its purchase to create an access, before a planning application can be submitted. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The County Council-owned land at Penhesgyn will now be included in the Joint Local Development Plan as a possible allocation to meet their accommodation needs. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment (GTAA) identified that Anglesey needs one permanent residential site; and two temporary stopping places – one in the centre of the island and one in the Holyhead area. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Anglesey Chief Executive, Dr Gwynne Jones, said, “The County Council has a duty to provide official sites to accommodate gypsies and travellers. Over recent months, we’ve been working to identify possible sites on the Island. Dealing with gypsy and traveller sites is always going to be a controversial and sensitive issue, but it is one which the County Council must address.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Council Leader, Councillor Ieuan Williams, added, “Today’s decision by the Executive represents another step forward in securing a permanent residential site for new age travellers currently living in an unauthorised encampment in a layby on A5025 between Menai Bridge and Pentraeth.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We remain committed to working with the local residents, living near Penhesgyn, and the new age travellers to support community cohesion, as well as mutual understanding and respect.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Any new authorised sites would be managed by the County Council or a body it appoints, ensuring that the site is well maintained, and that action can be taken if site rules are breached. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

An additional report presented to the Executive also concluded that none of the Temporary Stopping Places considered during a comprehensive public consultation process earlier this year were suitable. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

As a result, a fresh consultation outlining proposed new sites for Temporary Stopping Places will be launched on Thursday, June 2nd. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Public drop-in sessions and meetings with town and community councils will again 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 express their views about their suitability. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Feedback from residents and communities around the proposed sites will be vital in helping the County Council reach an informed final decision. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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