Council begins search for new travellers site in Llanelli
A SECOND traveller site is on its way to Llanelli — and it could end up in your back yard.
Carmarthenshire Council has identified a shortfall in gypsy and traveller pitches in Llanelli and is now looking for a site within a five- mile radius of the town centre.
Area housing manager Rachel Davies said: "The council has a general duty — which will shortly become a legal duty — to provide gypsy and traveller sites to those who need them."
Now Elli ward councillor John Jenkins has called on the authority to be "extra sensitive" in dealing with the issue, and made reference to past issues at the town's Penybryn caravan site.
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He said: "I would hope that they (Carmarthenshire Council) will be fully open and transparent with residents regarding potential sites.
"I also hope that any new site will not be mistreated in the same way as the Penybryn site was and that it will be well-managed.
"The most important thing is that the council is open with residents."
The Welsh Government has told the council to allocate land to meet needs for gypsy and travellers accommodation as part of their local development plans.
While no sites have yet been identified, landowners, developers, and other interested parties are being invited to suggest sites for potential consideration.
The only current local authority site in Carmarthenshire is situated at Penybryn in Bynea and has 15 pitches and is at capacity.
Bynea ward councillor Steve Donoghue said: "There has been issues there in the past, I would seriously hope that before any decisions are made it would not be without the consultation and consent of residents.
"But there are undesirables in all walks of life and it is easy to tar travellers with the same brush — there is a lot of misinformation out there."
Mrs Davies said that to date, 11 applications had been received from the gypsy and traveller community — identifying a need for a new site.
She said: "These applications have been made to the council's housing choice register, and will be dealt with under our allocation policy.
"Any new site would have the same facilities as at Penybryn, which would include 10 to 15 pitches along with amenity blocks, a site office and community facilities."
Creating another official site would free up around 10 council homes for re-letting, she added.
The consultation for the submission of sites should be made before the closing date on February 15.