Travellers accused of planning breach

Reporter:

Claire Gallagher

RESIDENTS have held crisis talks after travellers moved on to a village field.

The group are in a field off Gwern Lane, Hope, after setting up camp on Friday night.

The next day more than 60 people from Hope held a meeting on Rhyddyn Hill with Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami.

It is understood the travellers have bought the land but they do not have planning permission to be on the land with caravans.

They have also laid down some hardcore on the ground, residents say.

Council enforcement officers have served a Planning Contravention Notice so they can determine who owns the land.

It is understood that the travellers will be given the option to apply for planning permission within 21 days or to vacate the site.

Applying for planning permission would cost more than £1,200 because there needs to be permission for each of the three caravans and a campervan on the site.

Gwern Lane resident Sandra Barnes said: “People realise how difficult is it to get planning permission and people who live here understand the limitations.

“You can’t come along and try to work the system like the travellers have done. It is green belt land and we want to keep it that way.

“Quite a few residents were angry and frustrated at the meeting. They are also concerned about security and expressed concerns about possible expansion of the site into nearby fields.”

Another resident said: “It’s a small community and only a few of us that live here and we are devastated.

“People are worried about their properties and our peaceful space.

“We feel very privileged to live here and are upset and angry.”

Mr Tami said: “I’m acutely aware of the concerns raised by residents in relation to the site.

“Enforcement officers are monitoring the situation very closely and I’m hopeful a resolution can be reached swiftly and with no further dispute.”

A spokesman for Flintshire Council, under whose jurisdiction the land falls, said:
“We will be serving a Planning Contravention Notice which is a request for information to help us determine who owns the land and then we will consider what action is required.”

See full story in the Leader

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