Residents’ fears over Torfaen traveller site

A CAMPAIGNER has slammed Torfaen council over proposals to create a gypsy “ghetto” in Cwmynyscoy, under the Local Development Plan (LDP) given the go ahead last week.

Adrian Bold, one of the members of protest group Cwmynyscoy Action Group (CwmNAG) said the ward – the smallest in the borough – had been chosen because it would show the “least resistance”.

Under the LDP, existing provisions for travellers will be extended in the area, with 32 new pitches at Shepherds Hill, on an unused football pitch at the Race, and ten more at a privately-owned site, Rose Cottage. More than 60 caravans are already estimated to be housed in the area.

Mr Bold said democracy had gone “out the window” with the decision.

“This is not an issue with the gypsies, who have been here longer than I have,” said the 65-year-old, who lives less than half a mile from the two existing sites," he said. “I am not at war with them, but with the council.

“The residents here are being made to suffer to suit everyone else. We are the weakest ward in the borough, and one of the most deprived.

“I understand there has to be provisions for travellers but housing them all in one place will do nothing to improve the situation here.”

Mr Bold, who said he had made significant representation in objection to both the council and the inspector who approved the plans for adoption, said his problem was with travellers who had no interest in the area, citing problems of noise, mess, and illegal caravan parking.

He called it a “damage limitation exercise” for the council.

“The plan has almost unanimous support because no-one else wants it in their back yard,” he added.

“It’s a case of put up with this or get driven out for us.”

The plans will see undermined land, currently occupied by an unused football pitch at the Race, remediated at a cost of around £3.5 million.

It is intended to address overcrowding, with more than 100 residents already living on 28 permanent residential pitches at Shepherds Hill.

The LDP was adopted at an extraordinary full council meeting held on Tuesday December 3 and which will shape the future of development across Torfaen.

CwmNAG members have held meetings, protests and demonstrations over the issue.

They have been supported by Cwmynyscoy Ward councillor Neil Waite throughout their campaign.

Cllr Waite said: “It’s disappointing for the ward. We are probably the most deprived area in the borough and it’s another step backwards. Even the gypsies at Shepherd’s Hill voiced opposition to the plan. But the decision went against us and now we have to live with it.”

To get in touch with the CwmNAG campaign group email CwmNAG@yahoo.co.uk

Comments (4)

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3:30pm Wed 11 Dec 13

whatintheworld says...

orr the sites were chosen because they're on an UNUSED football pitch and PRIVATE land.

for gods sake - give these people a site and be done with it.

im sick of seeing these stories
orr the sites were chosen because they're on an UNUSED football pitch and PRIVATE land. for gods sake - give these people a site and be done with it. im sick of seeing these stories whatintheworld

9:57pm Wed 11 Dec 13

Robodad says...

Mr Bold is talking out of the top of his head. I hope the Argus gets a comment from someone who knows the full facts to balance this very one sided article by someone with a grudge
Mr Bold is talking out of the top of his head. I hope the Argus gets a comment from someone who knows the full facts to balance this very one sided article by someone with a grudge Robodad

12:58pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Lavengro says...

Okay. Shall we try and address the balance a little here with some facts?
Fact 1
The reason Cwmynyscoy was chosen is that it meets the criteria for site provision and the Gypsy and Traveller communities living there have a long association and history there. The same families that show up in the 1871 census are still there.
Fact 2
Cllr Waite can bandy about statements about Shepherds Hill Residents not supporting a site redevelopment, but he knows full well that this is incorrect. Why? Because a full and extensive consultation with the communities of Shepherds Hill revealed 100% support for redevelopment based on such things as association and family links with the area, continuity in education and healthcare provision etc . As the councillor for the area he had early access to the results of this consultation. And these facts were discussed at council meetings. So why deliberately mislead I wonder?
Fact 3
A statistically significant number of objections to the Gypsy site portion of the LDP were returned on account of the fact that the objections were based on race alone and not any relevant planning issues. Anyone that doubts this please contact the Equality Dept at TCBC.
Fact 4
The article gives the impression that 32 additional plots are being created at Shepherds Hill? In fact it is 4 in addition to the current 28, and solely to accommodate overcrowding on site which is a clear danger on fire safety alone.
Fact 5
Prior to his being elected Cllr Waite went around Shepherds Hill canvassing for votes fully aware of all aspects of future plans and developments on both sites. In hinsdight he seems a bit of a "smiling assassin" ? Just as well he is so incompetent to be practically ineffectual, otherwise Shepherds Hill residents might have cause for concern! He also attended (prior to his election) Cwmynscoy Neighbourhood Group Meetings. Neighbourhood is a bit of a loose term for CwmNag as not all neighbours are invited. Apparently based on race?
Fact 6
The current residents pay over £500 per month to live on a site that all know to be substandard in terms of utilities, amenities and sanitation. They deserve equal service provision with other council tenants. The redevelopment will help address that.
Fact 7
We live in a democracy. The sites will be redeveloped. That is the wish of the people living there, the democratic council process, and in a wider sense, Welsh Government.
Fact 8
It’s happening. So the small minority in the very right of centre, Nigel Farage loving, unelected, undemocratic “neighbourhood” group, led by someone who at his own admission moved in next to the sites fully aware of their existence. Really need to get over it.
Imagine what this determined group of “community minded” citizens could have achieved for their community had they put as much effort into something positive?

We will never know.
Okay. Shall we try and address the balance a little here with some facts? Fact 1 The reason Cwmynyscoy was chosen is that it meets the criteria for site provision and the Gypsy and Traveller communities living there have a long association and history there. The same families that show up in the 1871 census are still there. Fact 2 Cllr Waite can bandy about statements about Shepherds Hill Residents not supporting a site redevelopment, but he knows full well that this is incorrect. Why? Because a full and extensive consultation with the communities of Shepherds Hill revealed 100% support for redevelopment based on such things as association and family links with the area, continuity in education and healthcare provision etc . As the councillor for the area he had early access to the results of this consultation. And these facts were discussed at council meetings. So why deliberately mislead I wonder? Fact 3 A statistically significant number of objections to the Gypsy site portion of the LDP were returned on account of the fact that the objections were based on race alone and not any relevant planning issues. Anyone that doubts this please contact the Equality Dept at TCBC. Fact 4 The article gives the impression that 32 additional plots are being created at Shepherds Hill? In fact it is 4 in addition to the current 28, and solely to accommodate overcrowding on site which is a clear danger on fire safety alone. Fact 5 Prior to his being elected Cllr Waite went around Shepherds Hill canvassing for votes fully aware of all aspects of future plans and developments on both sites. In hinsdight he seems a bit of a "smiling assassin" ? Just as well he is so incompetent to be practically ineffectual, otherwise Shepherds Hill residents might have cause for concern! He also attended (prior to his election) Cwmynscoy Neighbourhood Group Meetings. Neighbourhood is a bit of a loose term for CwmNag as not all neighbours are invited. Apparently based on race? Fact 6 The current residents pay over £500 per month to live on a site that all know to be substandard in terms of utilities, amenities and sanitation. They deserve equal service provision with other council tenants. The redevelopment will help address that. Fact 7 We live in a democracy. The sites will be redeveloped. That is the wish of the people living there, the democratic council process, and in a wider sense, Welsh Government. Fact 8 It’s happening. So the small minority in the very right of centre, Nigel Farage loving, unelected, undemocratic “neighbourhood” group, led by someone who at his own admission moved in next to the sites fully aware of their existence. Really need to get over it. Imagine what this determined group of “community minded” citizens could have achieved for their community had they put as much effort into something positive? We will never know. Lavengro

4:02pm Thu 12 Dec 13

whatintheworld says...

Lavengro wrote:
Okay. Shall we try and address the balance a little here with some facts? Fact 1 The reason Cwmynyscoy was chosen is that it meets the criteria for site provision and the Gypsy and Traveller communities living there have a long association and history there. The same families that show up in the 1871 census are still there. Fact 2 Cllr Waite can bandy about statements about Shepherds Hill Residents not supporting a site redevelopment, but he knows full well that this is incorrect. Why? Because a full and extensive consultation with the communities of Shepherds Hill revealed 100% support for redevelopment based on such things as association and family links with the area, continuity in education and healthcare provision etc . As the councillor for the area he had early access to the results of this consultation. And these facts were discussed at council meetings. So why deliberately mislead I wonder? Fact 3 A statistically significant number of objections to the Gypsy site portion of the LDP were returned on account of the fact that the objections were based on race alone and not any relevant planning issues. Anyone that doubts this please contact the Equality Dept at TCBC. Fact 4 The article gives the impression that 32 additional plots are being created at Shepherds Hill? In fact it is 4 in addition to the current 28, and solely to accommodate overcrowding on site which is a clear danger on fire safety alone. Fact 5 Prior to his being elected Cllr Waite went around Shepherds Hill canvassing for votes fully aware of all aspects of future plans and developments on both sites. In hinsdight he seems a bit of a "smiling assassin" ? Just as well he is so incompetent to be practically ineffectual, otherwise Shepherds Hill residents might have cause for concern! He also attended (prior to his election) Cwmynscoy Neighbourhood Group Meetings. Neighbourhood is a bit of a loose term for CwmNag as not all neighbours are invited. Apparently based on race? Fact 6 The current residents pay over £500 per month to live on a site that all know to be substandard in terms of utilities, amenities and sanitation. They deserve equal service provision with other council tenants. The redevelopment will help address that. Fact 7 We live in a democracy. The sites will be redeveloped. That is the wish of the people living there, the democratic council process, and in a wider sense, Welsh Government. Fact 8 It’s happening. So the small minority in the very right of centre, Nigel Farage loving, unelected, undemocratic “neighbourhood” group, led by someone who at his own admission moved in next to the sites fully aware of their existence. Really need to get over it. Imagine what this determined group of “community minded” citizens could have achieved for their community had they put as much effort into something positive? We will never know.
this post gave me an errection.
[quote][p][bold]Lavengro[/bold] wrote: Okay. Shall we try and address the balance a little here with some facts? Fact 1 The reason Cwmynyscoy was chosen is that it meets the criteria for site provision and the Gypsy and Traveller communities living there have a long association and history there. The same families that show up in the 1871 census are still there. Fact 2 Cllr Waite can bandy about statements about Shepherds Hill Residents not supporting a site redevelopment, but he knows full well that this is incorrect. Why? Because a full and extensive consultation with the communities of Shepherds Hill revealed 100% support for redevelopment based on such things as association and family links with the area, continuity in education and healthcare provision etc . As the councillor for the area he had early access to the results of this consultation. And these facts were discussed at council meetings. So why deliberately mislead I wonder? Fact 3 A statistically significant number of objections to the Gypsy site portion of the LDP were returned on account of the fact that the objections were based on race alone and not any relevant planning issues. Anyone that doubts this please contact the Equality Dept at TCBC. Fact 4 The article gives the impression that 32 additional plots are being created at Shepherds Hill? In fact it is 4 in addition to the current 28, and solely to accommodate overcrowding on site which is a clear danger on fire safety alone. Fact 5 Prior to his being elected Cllr Waite went around Shepherds Hill canvassing for votes fully aware of all aspects of future plans and developments on both sites. In hinsdight he seems a bit of a "smiling assassin" ? Just as well he is so incompetent to be practically ineffectual, otherwise Shepherds Hill residents might have cause for concern! He also attended (prior to his election) Cwmynscoy Neighbourhood Group Meetings. Neighbourhood is a bit of a loose term for CwmNag as not all neighbours are invited. Apparently based on race? Fact 6 The current residents pay over £500 per month to live on a site that all know to be substandard in terms of utilities, amenities and sanitation. They deserve equal service provision with other council tenants. The redevelopment will help address that. Fact 7 We live in a democracy. The sites will be redeveloped. That is the wish of the people living there, the democratic council process, and in a wider sense, Welsh Government. Fact 8 It’s happening. So the small minority in the very right of centre, Nigel Farage loving, unelected, undemocratic “neighbourhood” group, led by someone who at his own admission moved in next to the sites fully aware of their existence. Really need to get over it. Imagine what this determined group of “community minded” citizens could have achieved for their community had they put as much effort into something positive? We will never know.[/p][/quote]this post gave me an errection. whatintheworld

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