Newport Gipsy transit camp plan faces the axe
Updated 8:17am Tuesday 1st July 2014 in Gwent news
A GIPSY site mooted for the west of Newport that came under fire from local businesses and Welsh government officials is set to be dropped from Newport’s local development plan (LDP).
Following a public examination by the planning inspector Alwyn Nixon, the city’s blueprint for the next two years is out to consultation yet again – this time over a list of proposed changes to the plan.
A proposed transit site for gipsy and travellers at Celtic Way – which the Welsh Government said it would not hand over to the council – is likely to be dropped from the LDP and replaced with the contingency site proposed at Ringland Allotments.
Newport council had tried to get Ringland Allotments deleted from the plan but that was rejected by the inspector. The move, if approved following the consultation, would result in two earmarked gipsy sites near the Ringland estate – including the Hartridge Farm Road residential site.
Mr Nixon told the council in a letter that the Celtic Way site rendered the submitted LDP unsound.
He wrote: “Given the pivotal significance of the Duffryn business area to the attraction of economic investment I regard the proposed transit site allocation as wholly at odds with a key aim of the plan strategy to deliver new employment,” the inspector wrote. Mr Nixon says it hasn’t been established whether the council can obtain the land against the Welsh Government’s wishes, raising significant doubt over Celtic Way.
Council planning officers wrote back to the inspector indicating that while the allotment site could be used for transit, the authority would prefer Ringland Allotments to be deleted with the need for a transit site met through a regional scheme.
Newport council said both the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff haven’t identified a transit site and both are relying on a regional solution.
However Mr Nixon stated it was clear that the regional approach hadn’t yet been formally considered, and that Ringland Allotments was the only adequate option put forward. During the public examination Gallagher Estates, whose Llanwern Village development aims to deliver 1,100 homes, said there’s an obligation on the authority to handover Ringland Allotment site to the development.
The firm does not want to make the land available for a gipsy site, according to LDP documents, claiming it would have a bad impact on the development’s delivery.
However Mr Nixon said the effect the site may have on how quickly homes are built at Llanwern Village is uncertain and difficult to quantify.
The consultation, which runs until August 1, relates only to matters arising from the public examination.
New housing sites at the Postal Exchange, Mill Street, the former Queens Hill School site, Telford Depot and Coverack Road, are also being considered.