1,000 protestors join forces to campaign against Gorseinon becoming home to a Gypsy and traveller site
MORE THAN 1,000 protesters held their placards high to campaign against Gorseinon becoming home to a Gypsy and travellers' site.
They met to show their support to a residents group set up to lobby the council.
Consultation about the home of a second permanent travellers' site in the city opened last year.
The existing official site is full and five potential sites — including two in Gorseinon — are being considered by the council.
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Organiser Helen Davies thanked the crowd for coming out and supporting their protest.
She said the group's opposition wasn't against the land being used as a travellers' site but that it would be built on the town's only remaining green space.
The proposed sites are either side of Heol y Mynydd, one on Melin Mynach and the other on land on the opposite side of the road on land earmarked for a cemetery.
"Melin Mynach is a growing park with a growing heritage and a natural habitat for flora and fauna. It's one of the last remaining green spaces," she said.
She said an expert was being brought in to check if red kites were breeding in the area and that they were looking into obtaining village green status for the land which would mean putting a proposal to Swansea Council.
Petitions were also handed around the crowd.
She said: "We're still in the consultation period. It is very important that everybody who's got an opinion, whether that's a positive or a negative one about setting up travellers sites, needs to make it known. That opinion is important.
"It's taken something slightly negative to bring the community together, whether we win or lose I'd like to see this community stick together," she added.
She said they were united as a community to "save our land, save our green spaces, save Melin Mynach and to save the cemetery".
Jacqueline Holmes, a resident of 50 years, said: "It's a lovely area. It's overpopulated now — as it stands you can't drive into Gorseinon at 4.30pm."
Other residents expressed concerns if the site was chosen there could be animosity between the travellers and existing residents.
Families were among the protesters, many who use the green land or children who use it during school time.
Jamie Thomas said: "We, as a family, use this area for anything from our youngest learning to ride her bike to playing here or having a picnic.
"We want to keep it like that. A lot of these people here use it."
David Jenkins said he thought the plans were too close to residential areas.
"It would just upset the whole area," he said.
Resident Elizabeth Weeks added: "This has been here for 20 years. It's been an Eisteddfod field, used by the school and for us to walk our dogs. We want to keep it as somewhere we can all go."