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Ewloe traveller site appeal hearing told of farmer's pollution fears

Published date: 28 February 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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LIVESTOCK, crops and farming land could be polluted by a proposed traveller site, according to a landowner.

Farmer John Williams told an inquiry that a controversial proposed five-pitch traveller site in Ewloe could pose a threat to land he owns nearby.

Mr Williams owns 42 acres of farmland adjacent to the proposed site, which is used for crops and housing about 500 cattle.

Applicant Martin Rooney wants to create five caravan pitches and hard-standing utility rooms on Magazine Lane.

A similar application was rejected by Flintshire Council planners in 2011, with the latest bid turned down by the same committee in 2012.

Speaking on the second day of the three-day hearing of an appeal against the second rejection, Mr Williams said: “Nearby ditches are overgrown and flooded and for the site to go ahead, the surface level would have to be raised.

“It is a great concern that surface water would rise and it is a great concern to us as landowners that this application poses a threat to surface water spilling on to our land.

“There is the possibility of pollution of crops, land and livestock.”

Mr Williams also expressed concerns regarding access for commercial vehicles and the possibility of a cess pit being installed on the site.

Michael Rudd, of Green Planning Solutions Ltd, acting on behalf of Mr Rooney, said Mr Williams was “flip-flopping” between concerns.

“A site visit will establish how well the site drains,” he said.

Resident John Butler, who lives on Aston Hill, near to the proposed site, suggested that road noise from the nearby A55 may not be suitable for children living on the site.

“I am very aware that the A55 is an important arterial road but I don’t know if the roaring noise of traffic at any time is good for young children to be exposed to.

“Why haven’t the appellants put our minds at rest and assured us that this is an appropriate development for children to live on?”

Local ward member, Cllr Alison Halford, also gave evidence to the inquiry.

“I initially raised the issue of noise due to other problems across the ward,” she said.

“I contacted officers at Flintshire Council regarding the Riverside Caravan Park in Queensferry and the availability of more places there.

Speaking on the first day of the hearing on Wednesday, Mr Rudd said: “But for the unresolved noise issue, the previous inspector would have granted permission.”

Huw Richards, acting on behalf of Flintshire Council, said: “The first inquiry resulted in the dismissal of his appeal for an almost identical proposal.

“The noise issue is likely to be the determining factor in the appeal.”

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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