Flintshire gipsy camp site bid thrown out

Reporter:

Lois Hough

CONTROVERSIAL plans to create a permanent gipsy camp have been thrown out.

It was the second time residents of Dollar Park, off Bagillt Road, Holywell, had applied for planning permission since the site was illegally set up three years ago.

The latest plan sought permission for a change of use of the land to a residential caravan site for six families, each with two caravans and six amenity buildings.

As members threw out the proposals at a planning meeting at County Hall, a member of the public called out “you’re all prejudiced against gipsies”.

Making his case for permission, resident Lee Hamilton said: “We have been here for three years and have never caused trouble.

“The local people are very nice people and have no problems with us at all.

“My wife has rheumatoid arthritis. There is an elderly gentleman in hospital for cancer and there is an old lady on our park who is waiting for a hip operation.

“How can you take six families and dump them on the roadside? We’re living in 2010 and it is about time that the council looked at the gipsy situation.

“We are human beings at the end of the day. We pay for the site ourselves. We have never asked anyone for anything.”

Cllr Robin Baker, whose Holywell east ward includes Dollar Park, said only minor changes had been made to the application since it was rejected in 2008.

He said: “You could fit a cigarette paper between the two applications.

“There have been a few cosmetic changes but that is all. Our objections still stand.”

Whitford councillor Chris Dolphin added: “We are a planning committee, not a bleeding heart. It has cost the public purse a lot of money to get to this stage. I hope this gets thrown out and never comes back.”

Members voted to refuse planning permission because of concerns about increased traffic and the impact on local wildlife.

Meanwhile, an order by a Welsh Assembly planning inspector for residents to vacate the park is still being ignored.

The Bagillt West Action Committee has written to council chief executive Colin Everett threatening to take out an injunction against the council unless the travellers are removed immediately.

See full story in the Leader

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