Tredegar Park 'new site' for Nato Newport peace camp

Tredegar Park, Newport Protesters are now expected to hold a peace camp at Tredegar Park in Newport

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One of the demonstrators planning an anti-Nato "peace camp" in Newport during the summit of world leaders in September has claimed they will set up at an alternative site.

It follows an outcry from residents in the city's Pill area over plans to use playing fields near a community centre.

Eddie Clarke, of the No Nato Newport group, said it would now set up at Tredegar Park instead.

He said it would be away from residential areas and Tredegar House.

"If we'd known about the strength of feeling amongst the people in Pill we'd never have considered staying there and upsetting them," he told BBC Wales.

"We met with the council today and they were really helpful - as were councillors, police and environmental health.

"They can't advise or offer council facilities so we have to suggest an area and then they provide facilities as part of their duty of care."

The campaign group also looked at Coronation Park as an alternative.

Eddie Clarke Eddie Clarke said they looked at Glebelands Park but it was too close to a river

Mr Clarke said Tredegar Park had good public transport links and hopefully could accommodate up to 600 people.

Earlier, Newport Council said it had met the group and been told that it was no longer looking at Pill but had been waiting to hear what their intentions were.

"The priority for the council is to protect Newport citizens and property and we will continue to liaise with the protesters and consider the measures we can put in place to minimise possible disruption or damage," said a spokesman.

More than 100 people attended a public meeting on Tuesday to voice objections to the proposed use of the green space in Pill.

The No Nato Newport group had wanted to gather on council-owned land next to Pill Millennium Centre from 27 August.

Donation

The peace camp is expected to run until the weekend after the conference at the Celtic Manor Resort from 3-5 September.

The group said it would try to operate a donation system to offer the council something for allowing them to stay.

Council representatives had met protesters and residents to discuss what might have been provided at the camp, although the authority said it had not given the group permission to use the fields.

The public meeting on Tuesday evening Pill residents expressed their concern at a public meeting on Tuesday evening

Tracey Holyoake, chair of the Pill Millennium Centre's trust told Tuesday's meeting that the original booking to use the site's facilities made no mention of camping in the field and she would not allow the booking to go ahead.

Gwent Police has said it was be ready to deal with any impromptu protests that take place during the summit but was not expecting any trouble.

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