Travellers are served with notice to quit caravan site

Reporter:

Lois Hough

AN ENFORCEMENT notice has been served on a village gipsy camp.

But villagers have spoken of their anguish over the camp near their homes, fearing it will never be moved.

The four-caravan site on land off Gwern Lane, Hope, has been operating without planning permission since June.

This week planning chiefs at Flintshire Council rejected an application for the camp to remain due to fears over traffic, pollution and the visual impact on the area.

But the occupants – who own the land – have appealed against the decision which will now be determined by the Welsh Assembly Government’s planning inspectorate.

Resident and campaigner Hugh Edwards said: The lane that they are on is just not capable of supporting extra traffic. It is the wrong development in the wrong location.”

Hope community councillor Cliff Shone said the camp will remain in Hope for the near future.

He said: “I’m not happy about this at all and the residents are disturbed by all of this. Residents on Gwern Lane pay high council tax for their properties and then have to put up with this.

“At the moment the camp is well organised and I’ve not had any complaints, but they can’t be moved on unless there is council enforcement.

“My feeling is that they will be there for a long time.”

Plans submitted in August for two static caravans, two touring caravans, a bathroom, cooking and laundry space and associated drainage, prompted 128 letters of objection.

The main cause for concern was that the camp is in the open countryside and flaunts rules about development on green belt land.

Hope Community Council chairman Lynn Davies, said: “The noise levels from a generator already on site is creating a disturbance to residents, and the development is visible from other properties.

“I haven’t got issues with the travellers personally but with the land that they live on. It is green belt land and is simply not suitable.”

Flintshire Council planning committee voted on Wednesday by a majority that planning permission should be refused.

A spokesman said: “We have served an enforcement notice requiring the caravans and all ancillary buildings/works to be removed and the site to be restored to its agricultural use. The occupiers have, however appealed against the notice and the matter will now fall to be determined by the Welsh Assembly Government, planning inspectorate.”

There was nobody available at the site yesterday to comment.

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