“Rule out St George as location for Gypsy and Traveller site”

With Conwy Council carrying out a ‘call for Gypsy and Taveller sites’ in the county, Clwyd West AM Darren Millar is urging them to rule out St George, near Abergele, as a location.

Two years ago the council were proposing to put a gypsy/traveller site on Smithy Layby, but villagers opposed the plans on safety grounds due to its proximity to the A55 and the pressure it would put on local services such as additional school places for extra children.

Darren Millar, who led protesters in a march against the proposals, was delighted when the Council agreed to scrap the plans.

But the Council is now looking again for a site and is asking landowners, agents and the public to suggest possible sites for consideration and Darren is calling on them to ensure the St George site is disregarded.

He said:

“I understand that all local authorities in Wales have a statutory duty to assess the accommodation needs of the Gypsy and Travelling Community in its area, and to make site provision for any needs identified and that a need for transit site within Conwy County Borough has been identified, but the site in St George is not the right location.

“There was uproar three years ago when this site was first mooted and we had to fight hard to get the proposals dropped.

“The site location is completely unsuitable and unsafe and the council’s decision to press ahead with a site there was flawed. They failed to consult with local residents, businesses and the neighbouring local authorities.

“Villagers were so relieved when the Council dropped their plans and I only hope they are not going to have to face another fight. Officers need to look again at the objections put forward three years ago and rule out the St George site and put people’s minds at rest. A site may be needed, but the one in St George is not it.”