HOW Newport council picked out gypsy and traveller site schemes in Newport is to be scrutinised by a planning inspector at a meeting next month.

Alwyn Nixon is holding a series of 18 meetings over April and May to discuss Newport council’s proposed local development plan (LDP).

But on April 8 the inspector will tackle the issue of the three proposed gypsy and traveller sites at Celtic Way, Hartridge and Ringland that have been included in the document.

Last year a group of councillors recommended that two gypsy sites at Hartridge Farm Road and Celtic Way should be included in the LDP, with a site proposed at Ringland Allotments as a back-up.

The Argus revealed last December that Tata Steel, two housing developers and a number of local businesses were among those who had objected to proposed gypsy sites in Newport.

Mr Nixon is set look at whether the stated need for 43 residential pitches by 2023 is consistent with an assessment in 2010 that 29 pitches were needed in Newport over the next 10 years — and if not, why it isn’t.

He will study why the plan seeks to meet all of the identified need for residential pitches on a single site at Hartridge Farm Road, said to be contrary to Welsh Government good practice.

The examination will explore what search and site selection methodology was followed to identify the sites, and whether the process was robust, objective and effective in considering all realistic alternatives.

The inspector will query whether the Celtic Way transit site proposal took into account the likely effects of the site on allocation of the surrounding area as a “prestige strategic employment area”.

How the sites will be developed, managed and funded will also be considered, among other issues.

Around 40 organisations and individuals, including Tata Steel and Natural Resources Wales, are set to speak at the meeting, which will take place at Newport civic centre.

Other meetings will look at the allocation in the plan for affordable housing and employment land, retail matters, the environment and heritage and alternative housing sites.

For more information and for the full list of meetings, visit