Gypsy Council: Travellers next to Amazon will be on their way soon
GYPSY Council chiefs say they expect the travellers who have set up home at Jersey Marine will be on their way soon.
Last week around 12 caravans parked illegally on land next to warehouse Amazon, which belongs to the Welsh Government.
Hughie Smith, president of the Gypsy Council, which is an organisation set up to represent gypsies nationwide in all aspects of their needs, said he believed the travellers may be just passing through and would soon move on.
"At the present time what we have suggested to Neath Port Talbot Council is these families may have permanent plots and perhaps are passing through," he said.
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"I don't think they will be there long. They are just passing through."
Both authorised traveller sites in Neath Port Talbot — Briton Ferry and Cae Garw, near Pyle — are currently full.
"Neath Port Talbot Council provides for 57 plots across its two sites," said Mr Smith. "The problem is with neighbouring authorities like Swansea which only has seven plots. Neath Port Talbot is a responsible authority as it is providing 57 plots. Bridgend and Merthyr have no sites."
A Swansea Council spokesman said the traveller plots were allocated before unitary authorities and were originally designated by West Glamorgan.
He added: "At present, there is only one authorised gypsy traveller site, which is fully occupied. The need for a second site has been identified as part of the council's housing needs assessment. The council is continuing its work to identify a suitable location for the second site.
Residents have called on Neath Port Talbot Council and the Welsh Government to act on the encampment at Jersey Marine.
Head of property and regeneration Gareth Nutt said: "The council has had contact with the Welsh Government about the situation and understand that, as landowners, the matter is in Welsh Government's hands."
A spokesman for the Welsh Government said: "Any action on that site will be in line with the protocols and guidelines of existing Welsh Government guidance, with consideration given to the fact that the two gypsy and traveller sites in Neath Port Talbot are full."
Under the Housing Act 2004 all local authorities in Wales have to assess the accommodation needs of travellers.
The existing authorised site in Swansea is at Pantyblawd Road, Llansamlet.
Travellers have also recently arrived at Millbrook Drive in Llansamlet.
A Swansea Council spokesman said: "We are aware of the matter and proceedings have been issued which will enable us to take back possession of the site."
Figures for July 2011 suggest there were a total of 793 Gypsy and traveller caravans in Wales — of which 120 caravans were on unauthorised sites.