Wales

Gypsy family allowed to stay on Brecon Beacons site

A family of Romany Gypsies have been given permission to stay on a temporary site in the Brecon Beacons for two years.

The family moved to Cefn Cantref, near Brecon, in 2008 while Powys council worked on plans for a permanent camp.

But an application by the council to extend their stay until April 2012 was turned down by Brecon Beacons National Park Authority last June.

An appeal against this decision was upheld by the planning inspectorate.

Powys council and the national park authority confirmed the decision by the inspectorate.

The council had been looking to build a permanent Gypsy site in Llanfilo, near Brecon, but its own planning committee turned down applications for it twice.

Complaint

In 2008, council officials placed the family at Cefn Cantref while they searched for a suitable site, but they did so without planning permission from the park authority and its officials accused them of a "flagrant disregard of planning policy".

An agreement was finally reached to allow the Gypsies to stay for two years, but the national park refused a further two-year extension to the deal.

Last April, the saga cost the council and park authority £250 each when the public service ombudsman for Wales partially upheld a complaint by a property developer, who owned land adjacent to Cefn Cantref.

Powys council was criticised for moving the family there without planning consent, while the national park authority was criticised for taking eight months to deal with a retrospective planning application for the site.

Ombudsman Peter Tyndall urged the council to find the family a suitable location as a matter of urgency.

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