Final choice on Swansea travellers site 12 months away
Planning permission is to be sought for two new possible travellers sites in Swansea — with the final decision on which one to use likely to be more than a year away.
As the Evening Post exclusively revealed, planners have identified the former dog track in Fforestfach and land on the edge of Llansamlet and Swansea Vale as the two preferred locations for the county’s second official travellers site.
If the proposal gets the go-ahead from councillors and Swansea Council’s cabinet, planning applications for both sites will be submitted.
Assuming planning permission is granted for both, it is likely to be late 2014 or early 2015 before a final choice between the two locations will have to be made — Fforestfach or Llansamlet.
The two have emerged as the best options from a shortlist of five, which included two in Gorseinon and one in Penderry.
Swansea Council’s corporate director, Reena Owen, said: “We began this process by looking at every council owned piece of land in the county.
“They were whittled down to 1,006 sites, then down to 19 possible sites, and then the final five.
“We have been through a very extensive process to identify the most suitable sites, following Welsh Government guidance.
“There were pros and cons to all the sites on the shortlist, and it is our recommendation that these two sites should go forward for planning permission.”
The search for a second travellers site began in 2010, and by April 2012 the final five had been agreed — prompting major campaigns in each area against the proposals, and more than 3,000 responses and comments from the public.
The final site will have pitches for 11 caravans — though that could increase to 20 if there is future demand for more vans. The site will be around one hectare in size.
A report on the five sites — with a recommendation to choice Cockett and Llansamlet — will go to full council on October 21 and then cabinet on November 5.
A Swansea Council spokesman said: “Our latest assessment highlights a clear need for further accommodation for gypsy and traveller families living in Swansea.
“We had an excellent response to the consultation and all the views and comments received have been taken into account before reaching the next stage.”