‘Gipsy site responses must be considered’ - Newport councillor
THE 7,000 responses to a study on where to put Gipsy sites in Newport need to continue to be borne in mind in ongoing work on the issue, a councillor says.
Newport councillor Paul Hannon made the comment yesterday during a meeting of a council committee set to return to the matter once officers finish a technical assessment of 11 shortlisted sites.
Meanwhile, a councillor said she heard that her committee was going to reconsider the issue of gipsy sites from the Argus first before officers had informed her.
The Argus previously reported that cabinet has asked the scrutiny committee for community planning and development to assess ongoing officer work into 11 shortlisted Gipsy sites.
A group from the committee had already made its own recommendations to cabinet, but officers were asked to conduct a detailed site appraisal.
Yesterday the committee was asked to look at the list of topics for that appraisal, which were not disputed by the committee.
However, Labour councillor Hannon, for Beechwood, said: “One thing we benefited from was the huge response from the consultation exercise.”
He said that response should continue “to be a part of the appraisal process”.
The Gipsy site process was planned to feed so-called “focused changes” to the local development plan, to be dealt with by councillors this month.
But the council decided instead to put a revised LDP on deposit again, to be considered by councillors in June ahead of a sixweek consultation.
Cllr Hannon said that is going to be “an expensive process” and said he wasn’t sure its cost could be contained within existing budgets.
He added that the risks of going longer without having an LDP also needed to be considered.
Labour councillor Jane Mudd, for Malpas, said communication had been very poor and that she had read the Gipsy issue was coming back to the committee in the Argus first.
“It might be helpful to hear it first from officers, not the South Wales Argus,” she said.
The scrutiny committee previously identified the Road Safety Centre, near Hartridge Farm Road, to be allocated in the LDP as a preferred residential gipsy site, with Ringland Allotments and Brickyard Lane as contingencies.