Gypsies turned down Gorseinon
NONE of the families at the centre of plans to build new travellers sites said they would be prepared to use them if they were built in Gorseinon.
As part of the consultation process to find suitable locations for Swansea's second official gypsy site the council was required to seek the views of the three families who are in "immediate needs" for extra accommodation.
None of them said they wanted to live in the two Gorseinon options — neither on land at the rear of Parc Melin Mynach or the proposed cemetery site.
Earlier this week Swansea Council announced the shortlist of five possible sites had been whittled down to a final two — the former greyhound track in Fforestfach and land on the edge of Llansamlet — and the local authority is now proposing to seek planning permission for both.
A final decision on which one will be chosen is unlikely before the end of 2014.
A report due to go before councillors later this month notes that "all the gypsy and traveller families have said that they would not be prepared to utilise" the Gorseinon sites.
The three families have said they would be prepared to use the Llansamlet site, while two of them said they would live at the Fforestfach site.
The report says: "An important part of the process following Welsh Government Circular guidance was to establish the views of the gypsy and traveller community, which will be a relevant consideration in any decisions to where the site should be located.
"Discussions with the families have taken place to ascertain their preferences in terms of location.
"While it is not being suggested that the gypsy and travellers dictate where a new site would be located, if it is to be successfully used to avoid ad hoc illegal encampments around the area, their views have to be factored into the considerations."
The report notes that the three traveller families involved confirmed they would not seek to use a site — wherever it is located — for business purposes.
The report continues: "The council has a statutory duty to consider the housing needs of travellers and gypsies.
"The Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment identifies a need for 11 additional pitches immediately. The forward looking projection identifies a possible need for an additional 20 pitches in five years time, although that is based on all gypsy and traveller children requiring their own accommodation at age 18 and several assumptions.
"Developing a site now of 11, which can be extended up to approximately 20 pitches appears to be appropriate."
The proposal — to seek planning permission for both the Llansamlet and Fforestfach site — is due to be discussed at an extraordinary meeting of Swansea Council on October 21.