Posted: Mon 5th Oct 2020

Caravan pitches at Ewloe Traveller site could be tripled despite claims residents feel ‘unwelcome’

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Oct 5th, 2020

The number of caravan pitches at a Traveller site in Flintshire could be tripled, despite claims residents have been made to feel “unwelcome”.

An application to create five pitches at Magazine Lane in Ewloe was given the green light in 2014 in the face of hundreds of objection letters.

It came after Flintshire Council’s decision to refuse the scheme was overturned on appeal, ending a four-year battle between the local authority and applicant Martin Rooney.

Plans have now been unveiled to increase the number of plots to 15 by reconfiguring the site, which sits on green barrier land near Ewloe Barn Wood.

Agents acting on behalf of Mr Rooney said it would help to meet the “growing needs” of the Traveller community.

However, they also pointed to the likelihood of more opposition from villagers following claims of hostility from people living nearby.

In a planning statement, representatives from DP Cad Design said: “Throughout the site’s planning history, the main planning issue relates to the local community.

“Local residents, especially those along Magazine Lane, have objected at every stage of the planning process and they will no doubt object to this proposal.

“The Travellers who now live on site have been made to feel most unwelcome by the immediate community during this process and so there is no reason to expect them to act any differently with this application.

“We have previously stated that there is good access to local services and ensuring the family can live together on this proposal will help Travellers to feel more part of the community.

“The Travellers on site have made Magazine Lane their home and would like to ensure that future generations are able to live with their immediate and extended family as part of the Traveller community.”

The proposals would result in the site being reconfigured by making the five existing plots smaller.

It would lead to space being made for a total of 15 pitches, each with room for a static caravan, touring caravan, one vehicle and an area of green space.

The council rejected the original plans partly over concerns about noise from the neighbouring A55.

But a three day inquiry by inspector Tim Belcher found that sounds from the expressway would not significantly harm living conditions at the site.

In relation to the latest application, the agents added: “Making better use of this site will enable Flintshire County Council to address the highlighted demand for new traveller housing.

“The proposed scheme will utilise the existing site without adversely affecting the local environment or landscape character of the area.”

Comments are currently being invited on the scheme via the council’s website with planners expected to make a decision at a later date.

Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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