Torfaen councillors vote for Cwmynyscoy Gipsy site proposal

Free Press Series: PROTEST: Residents outside the Torfaen council meeting PROTEST: Residents outside the Torfaen council meeting

A £3.6 MILLION expansion of a Gispy and traveller site in Pontypool got the go ahead tonight at an extraordinary meeting of Torfaen council.

At the packed four-hour long meeting members voted in favour of expanding the current Shepherds Hill site in Cwmynyscoy to include an unused football pitch at the Race.

Members of Cwmynyscoy Action Group (CWMnag) turned up in force to protest outside the Civic Centre ahead of the meeting and then filled the public gallery.

The overspill had to watch the live broadcast in the council's ceremony room.

Chairman of CWMnag Adrian Bold challenged the council as to why it had not fully considered an offer from Hill Park Homes to use the Woodlands Road site as an alternative to the development of the Shepherds Hill site.

And ward member Cllr Neil Waite spoke against the move saying: "People of the ward feel discriminated against. They have lived alongside the Gipsy community for a number of years. They wish them no harm and welcome them having better accommodation but do not feel it is appropriate to have another site in the ward."

But the group was left disappointed after the council decided to allocate the land known as the Former Race AFC Playing pitch as a Gipsy and traveller site for 32 pitches in the deposit of Torfaen's Local Development Plan (LDP) as a further focused change.

The council said it needed to address the issues of overcrowding at the Shepherds Hill Site but CWMnag argued the council needed to look beyond the existing site and expand into other wards.

The council-owned site currently has more than 100 residents living on 26 permanent residential pitches for caravans and mobile homes and one transit pitch.

The proposal on the neighbouring Race football field will provide 32 pitches.

There are also plans to build another ten pitches on the privately-owned Rose Cottage Site.

Privately owned Mountain View, also in the Race, currently caters for 20 pitches.

A working group to look at specifics was also set up.

Comments (10)

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10:27pm Tue 20 Nov 12

iandfox says...

Oh great,more of them,just what Pontypool needs.
Oh great,more of them,just what Pontypool needs. iandfox
  • Score: 0

7:50am Wed 21 Nov 12

Woodgnome says...

With 80 pitches next door why does Newport also need even more? It seems that Labour's Welsh govt and Labour Councils just roll over.
With 80 pitches next door why does Newport also need even more? It seems that Labour's Welsh govt and Labour Councils just roll over. Woodgnome
  • Score: 0

9:23am Wed 21 Nov 12

maryjj says...

Maybe someone knows the answer.

Does each caravan pay full council tax?
Maybe someone knows the answer. Does each caravan pay full council tax? maryjj
  • Score: 0

12:24pm Wed 21 Nov 12

denlexx3 says...

iandfox wrote:
Oh great,more of them,just what Pontypool needs.
yep last time i was up there it lookedd like it could do with a few more shoppers
[quote][p][bold]iandfox[/bold] wrote: Oh great,more of them,just what Pontypool needs.[/p][/quote]yep last time i was up there it lookedd like it could do with a few more shoppers denlexx3
  • Score: 0

2:04pm Wed 21 Nov 12

KarmaSuitsYa says...

I'm just wondering why it costs £3.6 million to build what would basically amount to a few concrete hardstands and some water/power connections?
I'm just wondering why it costs £3.6 million to build what would basically amount to a few concrete hardstands and some water/power connections? KarmaSuitsYa
  • Score: 0

3:29pm Wed 21 Nov 12

shepherdshilltenant says...

right, just a few points i need to clear up yet again, firstly for anyone who is unclear and has not read the numerous posts i have already made, the expansion of the caravan site IS NOT for more travellers to come into the area but to make every plot large enough to accommodate the family residing on it without being a fire hazard as currently the caravans are much too close together, to the point where i can pass my neighbour a copy of the south wales argus without leaving my home. and secondly as each family may need more than one caravan, mostly to be used as bedrooms for older children, they would be classed as one dwelling and would all be allocated to one pitch, so yes each pitch pays council tax as well as £70 per week rent and an additional £60 per week management charge, we also pay for our electricity by pre paid meter and for our lpg (bottled) gas seperatly. the reason the re development will cost £3.6 million seems to be due to the fact that as wales is a former mining town, certain steps need to be taken when building on previously undermined land, plus of course the fact that as human beings we require a little more than a cold tap and a square of concrete. every pitch will need it's own utility block, with hot and cold water supply, electricity, baths and toilets and heating. it would seem to me those who think we don't need anything else or the cost is too high should ask torfaen under the freedom of information act for the total amount of money that has been spent on the refurbishment and repairs of local authority housing over the last 20 or so years and then ask for the figures for shepherds hill for the same period. it would seem to me that after all this time of paying our share we deserve what everyone else in bricks and mortar accommodation has, which is simply a good standard of living. and please also be aware that as well as paying more for our plot of concrete than many in houses pay the majority still have to pay for their own caravans and mobile homes.and yes more of them is just what pontypool needs, that is if your talking about pitches and not gypsies, after all a remark like that would be racist wouldn't it?
right, just a few points i need to clear up yet again, firstly for anyone who is unclear and has not read the numerous posts i have already made, the expansion of the caravan site IS NOT for more travellers to come into the area but to make every plot large enough to accommodate the family residing on it without being a fire hazard as currently the caravans are much too close together, to the point where i can pass my neighbour a copy of the south wales argus without leaving my home. and secondly as each family may need more than one caravan, mostly to be used as bedrooms for older children, they would be classed as one dwelling and would all be allocated to one pitch, so yes each pitch pays council tax as well as £70 per week rent and an additional £60 per week management charge, we also pay for our electricity by pre paid meter and for our lpg (bottled) gas seperatly. the reason the re development will cost £3.6 million seems to be due to the fact that as wales is a former mining town, certain steps need to be taken when building on previously undermined land, plus of course the fact that as human beings we require a little more than a cold tap and a square of concrete. every pitch will need it's own utility block, with hot and cold water supply, electricity, baths and toilets and heating. it would seem to me those who think we don't need anything else or the cost is too high should ask torfaen under the freedom of information act for the total amount of money that has been spent on the refurbishment and repairs of local authority housing over the last 20 or so years and then ask for the figures for shepherds hill for the same period. it would seem to me that after all this time of paying our share we deserve what everyone else in bricks and mortar accommodation has, which is simply a good standard of living. and please also be aware that as well as paying more for our plot of concrete than many in houses pay the majority still have to pay for their own caravans and mobile homes.and yes more of them is just what pontypool needs, that is if your talking about pitches and not gypsies, after all a remark like that would be racist wouldn't it? shepherdshilltenant
  • Score: 0

4:33pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Flossymoss says...

£520.00 a month for rent and management fee. Not including rates, gas, electric and the Gypsies have to supply their own homes. Is that correct? Doesn't sound correct. Perhaps someone from Torfaen Council could respond?
Not Cllr Waite obviously as he is a white, male, middle class councillor who is being 'discriminated' against!!!!
£520.00 a month for rent and management fee. Not including rates, gas, electric and the Gypsies have to supply their own homes. Is that correct? Doesn't sound correct. Perhaps someone from Torfaen Council could respond? Not Cllr Waite obviously as he is a white, male, middle class councillor who is being 'discriminated' against!!!! Flossymoss
  • Score: 0

5:30pm Wed 21 Nov 12

shepherdshilltenant says...

yes believe it or not we do pay £520 per month rent and management fee plus electricity, water, and council tax. add to this the £52 per bottle for gas that on average lasts 10-14 days and thats per caravan. and yes the vast majority do still supply their own homes. does sound unbelievable doesn't it, thats why we feel we deserve a little more than we have. i too would like someone from torfaen council to respond, and if you don't believe me i could provide proof i.e. my rent card and reciepts.
yes believe it or not we do pay £520 per month rent and management fee plus electricity, water, and council tax. add to this the £52 per bottle for gas that on average lasts 10-14 days and thats per caravan. and yes the vast majority do still supply their own homes. does sound unbelievable doesn't it, thats why we feel we deserve a little more than we have. i too would like someone from torfaen council to respond, and if you don't believe me i could provide proof i.e. my rent card and reciepts. shepherdshilltenant
  • Score: 0

11:28pm Wed 21 Nov 12

regescu72 says...

You could get yourself a nice house for 520 a month, with all the power/amenities on tap!
You could get yourself a nice house for 520 a month, with all the power/amenities on tap! regescu72
  • Score: 0

9:22am Thu 22 Nov 12

shepherdshilltenant says...

living in a house for most gypsies is not an option, what people don't take into consideration is that part of the gypsy culture and lifestyle has already been lost, this has happened for a number of reasons, that i won't go into now as it goes off the point, but living as extended families as we do on sites is one of the things that are left. and don't we live in a society where we still have free choice? i think the issue that needs addressing is not that living in a house would be cheeper, but why are travellers being charged so much when they get so little in return compared to the house dwelling community, after all a one bedroom flat would be less expensive to rent than a four bedroom house, so shouldn't a plot of tarmac and a utility block be less expensive than the one bedroom flat?
living in a house for most gypsies is not an option, what people don't take into consideration is that part of the gypsy culture and lifestyle has already been lost, this has happened for a number of reasons, that i won't go into now as it goes off the point, but living as extended families as we do on sites is one of the things that are left. and don't we live in a society where we still have free choice? i think the issue that needs addressing is not that living in a house would be cheeper, but why are travellers being charged so much when they get so little in return compared to the house dwelling community, after all a one bedroom flat would be less expensive to rent than a four bedroom house, so shouldn't a plot of tarmac and a utility block be less expensive than the one bedroom flat? shepherdshilltenant
  • Score: 0

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