A “FAIRER” distribution of new gipsy and traveller sites across North Wales will be discussed today by Flintshire councillors.
More than half of the traveller caravan pitches in North Wales are in Flintshire and the meeting will focus on developing a new strategy.
The authority’s housing overview and scrutiny committee will meet at County Hall to consider the gipsy-traveller needs assessment.
The report states: “In terms of current site and pitch provision in North Wales, Flintshire is the most significant provider of any North Wales local authority.
“According to the January 2012 caravan count, Flintshire accommodates 66 caravans representing 58 per cent of all of the caravans available in North Wales.
“Once the 37 caravans provided by Wrexham is excluded – 33 per cent – the remaining authorities in North Wales have only 10 recorded caravans between them, only nine per cent of the North Wales total and none of which are on authorised sites.”
Flintshire Council took part in the wider North West Wales Gypsy Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA).
The study was conducted on behalf of Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Gwynedd councils by Bangor University. Wrexham carried out its own assessment. The report said: “The council’s view is that the findings and outcome of this GTAA are critical to the understanding of where need should be met in North Wales.
“What must be done from this study is for the study partners to examine the findings, to agree the actual level of need and to accept and agree a sub-regional distribution of new sites throughout North Wales that is fair and equitable to all local authorities and also to the needs of the gipsy and traveller community.”
There are currently five authorised sites for gipsies and travellers in Flintshire.
There is one local authority-owned site, Riverside, at Queensferry, which has 20 pitches and is currently managed by the gipsy community in partnership with the council.
The council is currently exploring the extension of the site onto under-used council land next to the current site, which has the potential to provide up to 20 residential pitches.
There are four privately-owned sites that have planning consent.
Two long-standing sites are at Corbetts Yard, Sandycroft, which has a capacity of 22 pitches and Miftford caravan site at Gwespyr, which has space for 20 pitches.
Two smaller private sites are at Dollar Park, Greenfield, where a temporary permission exists up to 2016, and Gwern Lane, Hope, where permanent consent was granted on appeal in May 2011 for four caravans.
The housing overview and scrutiny committee is recommended to receive the findings of the GTAA and endorse the approach to develop a dedicated gipsy-traveller strategy for Flintshire.