OPPOSITION to a scheme to locate a traveller site at Bwlchgwyn should focus on planning issues only, a residents’ association says.

Landowner Billy Evans has submitted a change of use planning application to Wrexham Council so he can site a seven-pitch site on land next to Graig Wen Farm at Brymbo Road.

Residents of the village raised concerns at a recent meeting and the wider issue of allocation of traveller plots across the borough came under scrutiny at a meeting organised by Brymbo Community Council on Monday night.

Wrexham Council may have to accommodate 28 extra traveller pitches in the borough as part of the new Local Development Plan, but its site at Ruthin Road is to be scaled down from 15 to nine pitches because of overcrowding.

Mr Evans, who currently resides at Ruthin Road, says his plan will help pursue that target, although he claims he has received some abuse on social media sites about his plans.

Jeanette Bassford, local councillor and secretary of Bwlchgwyn Residents Association, said: "I think there is general concern, but there needs to be mutual respect too on both sides. You have to set aside feelings of anger and not start abusing or insulting each other."

National Resources Wales has raised concerns about drainage and protected species at the one-acre plot on which Mr Evans plans to house his extended family. A council rights of ways officer says windows in some of the mobile homes will be overlooked by walkers passing on a footpath.

But Mr Evans stressed: "We can put planters to shield the site and if we get approval we will level the land off nicely."

Bwlchgwyn resident David Marsh said: "The village has some objections such as the land's importance as an area of scientific interest as there are newts and all sorts on it that need to be protected."

This week's meeting in Brymbo was called by community council chairman Cllr Paul Rogers to inform residents about traveller site allocation in the LDP. Some expressed concerns about the former sewerage works at Coedyfelin Road near St Mary’s Church being schemed in again after it was previously removed from the plan.

Cllr Rogers said: "I am disappointed this site is once again being considered for this use as part of the Local Development Plan. It is clear there are a number of issues which make this site unsuitable for development, including contaminated land and highway safety

The meeting agreed to establish a working group of residents to consider the key issues relating to the site and object to the proposal.