Newport council to vote on traveller-backed Gypsy site

Travellers caravans (generic) The council has assessed 240 potential sites

A £6.3m site for Gypsies will be voted on by Newport council after it received backing from travellers.

The plot in Hartridge has won support, a year after the council began looking for a permanent area for all three traveller families in the city.

The council has assessed 240 potential sites but Hartridge is thought to be the only one that can accommodate, with 43 pitches.

It is part of the revised deposit local development plan (LDP).

The full council meeting will vote on Tuesday on the revised LDP following a number of changes, including a new list of Gypsy sites.

Councillors are expected to discuss whether to agree for it to go to public consultation for a period of six weeks.

The meeting comes after a consultation in 2012 where scrutiny committee councillors opted for the site at Hartridge Farm Road as a preferred residential site, land at Celtic Way as a preferred transit site and the former Ringland allotments as a contingency.

The Hartridge Farm Road site was at low risk of legal challenge, the report said.

It added that work done at that committee would also make a challenge from surrounding residents unlikely to be successful.

In July 2012, the council appealed to the public for suggested sites and as a result a working group looked at more than 240 sites.

These were whittled down to 40 and a shortlist of 11 sites was drawn up.

After a four week consultation, during which more than 7,000 responses were received, the council's scrutiny committee said the sites in Hartridge, Celtic Way and Ringland, should be allocated in the revised LDP.

The report said the preferred option would not give rise to any potential human rights and equalities issues, as the use of the Hartridge site would avoid the need to split up families.

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