Posted: Wed 21st Feb 2024

North Wales council to defend refusal of gypsy and traveller site at planning appeal in April /
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Feb 21st, 2024

A North Wales council is preparing to defend its position at a planning appeal after refusing permission for a gypsy and traveller site amid fears about over-development and anti-social behaviour. Phillip Purcell applied to Denbighshire County Council in December 2021 for planning permission for a change of use of the land at Kynsal House on Vale Road, Rhyl.
Mr Purcell wanted to form a residential traveller site for six caravans, together with the existing dwelling of Kynsal House on Vale Road. The plans included the formation of internal pathways, parking, and landscaping as well as the retention of the existing home for owners and managers’ accommodation.
But the council’s planning department refused the application at the planning committee meeting in March 2022 after a lengthy debate, despite officers recommending the site for approval.
At a planning committee meeting this Wednesday (February 21) at the council’s Ruthin County Hall HQ, the council will nominate two councillors to defend the authority in a planning appeal in April.
Mr Scott Drummond spoke at the planning committee meeting in 2022, on behalf of residents against the development, reporting instances of alleged anti-social behaviour, including noise and light pollution.
Councillors were then told that the application should be retrospective as two static caravans had been on site since 2019, without planning permission.
Residents also claimed the site was close to existing properties and that granting permission would give rise to the potential for ‘increased activity on site’.
Mr Drummond argued that access from Vale Road would be dangerous to businesses and pedestrians, claiming there wasn’t suitable turning space for large vehicles – and that the plan was an over intensification.
Councillors had taken part in a site visit. The late Rhyl councillor Pete Prendergast had then urged planning committee members to object to the planning application.
Cllr Prendergast, who sadly died in September 2023, had stated that hedging and shrubbery had been removed in 2019 and a drop kerb installed to gain access to the site – and also referred to two static caravans being installed without planning permission.
The late Rhyl councillor said vehicular access off Knowlsley Avenue had also been blocked by fencing without planning permission and said both residents and businesses had been subjected to anti-social behaviour.
But Denbighshire’s planning officers said the site would accommodate four generations of a traveller family currently living in the adjacent home and other accommodation on site.
Officers concluded that there was no local or national planning policy or grounds to oppose the principle of the development.
But Cllr Prendergast proposed the application should be refused against officer recommendations, arguing six static caravans together with the occupied house would be an over intensification of the site.
He also said the site’s proposed layout did not conform with model 2008 standards for adequate turning space.
The application was then refused after a committee vote, following Cllr Ellie Chard seconding Cllr Prendergast’s proposal.
The planning appeal hearing will take place at Russel House in Rhyl on 30 April. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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