Proposed Ringland Gipsy sites 'unsuitable' - meeting told
AROUND 90 people attended a meeting to prepare objections to two proposed Gipsy sites in Newport tonight.
The meeting at Ringland Centre, conveyed to discuss two proposed sites near the Ringland estate, heard from one member of the travelling community who said they did not want to live on "on top of anybody".
Frank Weston, chairman of the Ringland Matters group that organised the meeting, said they are not against travellers sites but said nominated sites are unsuitable for their intended use.
The man who said he was from the travelling community told the meeting: "We want to somewhere by ourselves and out of the way.
"We don't want to be on top of anybody. We like to be by ourselves... We don't want to be right by there with that big school."
The proposed road safety centre site is next to the newly built Llanwern High School.
Mr Weston said he would like to meet the members of the travelling community who attended.
Ted Jefferies, a Langstone community councillor, outlined objections that residents could give, such as the safety centre's location near a railway line.
The Ringland Matters group was set up to gather objections to two proposed gipsy sites near the estate recommended by a group of Newport councillors.
The policy review group recommended last year that the road safety centre and nearby land on Hartridge Farm Road is Newport's preferred residential Gipsy and traveller site.
The former Ringland allotments site was suggested as a second preferred choice.
However there are worries over transport infrastructure and the fact the site is still in use.
Mr Weston, one of the organisers of the meeting, had told the Argus that the road access is inadequate for the Road Safety Centre to be used as a residential site.
He also claimed that reasons for rejection for sites in the old shortlist, such as Yew Tree Cottage in Bettws, could be applied in the Hartridge and Ringland sites.
However Newport council has said that the same assessment criteria was used for every site.
All 11 short-listed sites that went out to public consultation last year are currently being appraised for their suitability. Gipsy sites must be included in the local development plan which is likely to go out to consultation later this year and recommendations from the 2012 exercise will form the proposed changes to the LDP.
This will go before full council in the spring, after which there will be a six weeks public consultation.