DEFIANT residents have rallied together to challenge plans to create a permanent residential and one transit gypsy and traveller site near St Asaph.

Residents in the city have reacted with fury to a public consultation on the plans, launched by Denbighshire County Council. The proposal is to develop a residential gypsy and traveller site and a transit gypsy and traveller site with five pitches, both at Green-gates Farm East.

Signs stating ‘Say No’ have been put up in the city and a public meeting has been organised.

Concerned resident Leanne Groves said if the plans are given the go-ahead, it will impact her family “ dramatically”.

Leanne’s property will be surrounded by the proposed sites.

Speaking to the Journal, Leanne said: “The proposals for the gypsy and travellers’ sites at Greengate Farm, St Asaph are very worrying. If the gypsy and travellers’ sites are given the go-ahead, it will be built on both sides of my home.

"We purchased this house to cater for the very specific needs of my young daughter who has profound and severe learning disabilities. We had no idea that there were any proposals to put any gypsy/travellers’ sites on the agricultural land near the house when we bought it.

"I’m appalled by the behaviour of DCC in not making public the proposals until now and not being transparent about all the sites earmarked as possible gypsy/travellers’ sites.

"We would not have purchased the property if the county council had availed us of this vital information.”

Cllr Colin Hardie, mayor of St Asaph, said: “I am extremely disappointed with the decision taken by county council in choosing Greengates Farm as their preferred option for this development.

"I believe this will have a serious effect on the dynamics of our city with the potential loss of jobs when companies on the Business Park go through with their threats to relocate away from St Asaph because of their concerns about security.

“We have a high percentage of aged, vulnerable residents living quite close to the site, who have expressed their concerns about their personal security.” 

Cllr Peter Scott, St Asaph West county councillor and chair of the authority, said: “I remain unconvinced that this is the best site to meet their needs. Residents and business leaders have also expressed their concerns to me about the suitability of the site.

"Together with the city council and the residents of St Asaph and businesses, we will make a robust challenge against the proposal.”

The Welsh Government requires all councils to carry out a Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation assessment. The work in Denbighshire has identified the need for one permanent residential site for 5-6 pitches for an extended family living in the county, as well as a transit site for 4- 5 pitches.

A public consultation on the plans has been launched by the local authority and a drop-in session is being held at St Asaph library on Tuesday, November 6 between 2pm and 7pm.

Cllr Tony Thomas, cabinet lead member for Housing, Regulation and the Environment, said: “We want to emphasise that no decision has been made and we would urge anyone wanting to have their say to get involved through the council’s website or attend the drop-in event. Letters are also being distributed to nearby properties.”

A Denbighshire County Council spokesman said: “The purpose of the pre-planning consultation is to allow interested parties to view the proposals and to provide formal comment.

“Letters have been sent to nearby residents, information placed on the Council’s website and social media channels and a drop-in information session is being arranged.

"All comments received through the formal consultation will be considered as part of the planning application process.”

The City Council has arranged a public meeting at Theatre Elwy on Thursday, November 8 at 7.30pm.