Gipsy camp traffic 'could cause a collision'

Reporter:

Andrew Boyd

LIVES could be in danger if a controversial gipsy camp is allowed to remain.

A public inquiry into the Dollar Park gipsy camp in Bagillt heard yesterday that traffic from the site could cause a collision on the “extremely dangerous” Bagillt Road.

Anthony Jayes, who lives in the neighbouring Grade II listed building of Glyn Abbott, opposed the application and told the inquiry of the dangers on Bagillt Road leading to the park.

“It’s almost a race track and there are often cars coming up at incredible speeds,” he said.

Mr Jayes disputed a claim made the previous day by Alan Masters, leading the appellants’ case, that the eviction of the travellers would leave them in danger “on the edge of a road”.

He said: “It is clear the occupants have assets. They have substantial cars and machinery equipment and there’s no reason why they cannot acquire another property that would be more suitable for a site.”

Mr Jayes, who claimed the “visual impact of this development is substantial”, complained of disturbances caused by travellers on the site.

Complaints included frequent loud music, dog barking and industrial activity through lorries being loaded and unloaded, and more lighting coming from the park and often remaining on through the night.

A first public inquiry into the site early last year rejected an appeal against plans for 10 families to live on the site, with the revised application being for six families.

Although the first public inquiry had ordered the travellers to leave the park by February 2010 the site remains occupied.

This inquiry is in regard to a change of use at the site.

During cross-examination, Mr Masters said Mr Jayes bought the property three years ago when the travellers had already made an application for the park.

In response, Mr Jayes said: “I was aware of the application for the site.I was confident it would be rejected.”

Also speaking against the application was John Wain, of the West Bagillt Action Committee, who said the land is contaminated and previous applications for development have been rejected because of this and said he was aware of sewerage concerns on the site.

He added: “I am not against travellers, but I am against the travellers being on land that is contaminated.”

Evidence was given by Highways expert Ian Wickett, who had overseen two surveys on speed and traffic levels outside the park and reinforced Mr Hayes’ concerns about the road.

His research statistics contained differences to that conducted by another Highways expert, Jeremy Hurlstone, who appeared as part of the appellants’ case and had recorded fewer vehicles going past the site each day.

The two experts had used different recording methods when conducting their research.

The inquiry will continue on December 21.

See full story in the Leader

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