Gypsies should not move, Newport council told
2:02pm Monday 2nd December 2013 in News
A GIPSY family whose permission to live on a rural site has expired should be allowed to stay there.
Officers from Newport council have made the call despite local objections with one councillor saying the site is dangerous.
But council staff say that the family of Hendry and Pat Price would be homeless otherwise, calling for them to be given permanent planning permission.
Newport planning councillors will make the final decision when they meet on Wednesday.
The Welsh Romani gipsy family were allowed to stay temporarily near Castleton’s Coal Pit Lane by a planning inspector in 2011 after Newport council initially turned down the request. But the permission ran out in July.
Mr and Mrs Price’s family had previously been split between sites in Rover Way and Shirenewton in Cardiff, but left due to congested conditions at Rover Way and frictions with an Irish gipsy family at Shirenewton.
The police supported the family moving to the Castleton site, where they have resided since May 2011 and which they own.
A report to planning committee warned that if permission was refused “the applicant and his family would be made homeless” and that any alternative arrangements would be considerably worse.
That’s despite the report also saying that it “cannot be disputed that the development falls outside any definitions of development considered appropriate within a green belt”.
There is currently no Newport gipsy and traveller site. Proposals made as part of the ongoing local development plan process have proved highly controversial.
A chartered town planner, Sean Cullen, wrote to Newport council on behalf of residents in Castleton and the community council of Michaelston-y-Fedw and highlighted that the inspector said the site was not suitable for long-term residential use.
He said at a maximum a further temporary permission should be permitted to safeguard the family’s position but also to ensure its clear a permanent permission is not acceptable. Concerns were also expressed over highway safety.
Michaelstone-y-Fedw community councillor Vic Davies, vice-chairman of the council, said it’s a “dangerous site” and said Newport council has “failed at this moment to come up with somewhere for them to go”.
“I’d rather the bloke not be made homeless but it’s totally unsuitable for a permanent site,” he said.
However Mr Price, whose nine-year-old son Rico goes to a Marshfield Primary School, said he has abided by all the council’s requirements, and said he’s made changes to prevent road accidents.
He said they would end up on a Newport roadside if they had to move on.
“If it means we have to go to the Assembly again like we had to before we will do so,” he said.
If approved the application would cover one static caravan, two touring caravans and the keeping of horses and chickens.
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