Posted: Tue 26th Oct 2021

Retrospective plans for Traveller site in Caergwrle backed for approval for people living in or visiting the wrexham area

A bid to gain retrospective planning permission for a Traveller site in Flintshire looks set to be approved despite a warning it would set a “dangerous precedent”.

The site at Rhyddyn Hill in Caergwrle has been occupied by Edward Purcell and his family for approximately two years.
However, a planning application for two static caravan pitches and two day rooms was not submitted until nine months after they moved onto the land.

A senior official from Flintshire Council has now recommended permission should be given to allow the facilities to be retained.
It comes despite neighbours and community leaders raising objections against the proposals.

In their response, members of Hope Community Council said: “We object in principle to retrospective applications as it demonstrates a flagrant disregard for the planning process and the rules that all persons should follow.

“It sets a dangerous precedent if the council gave retrospective permission in any case and in particular this case.

“The community of Hope already has a travellers’ site. There is already a settlement within the community less than a mile from the applicant site.

“Provision for traveller sites is within the process of the Local Development Plan consultation and should not be permitted.”

The site is located in an area of open countryside and has previously been used to house a static caravan.

After it was vacated by the former owners, the land was targeted by fly-tippers who left a large amount of rubbish behind.

The local authority’s chief planning officer said the waste had since been cleared and the site would provide “an appropriate location for a permanent home”.

In a report, Andrew Farrow said: “The community council have expressed concern over the retrospective nature of this development and cited this as a reason that the application should be refused.

“This should not be a matter given any material weight in the assessment of this application.

“Retrospective applications are allowed for within the regulations.

“It is my view that the proposal represents an appropriate and proportionate Gypsy and Traveller site that will benefit from its close proximity to the local communities that surround it but will not give rise to any undue or detrimental impact to the amenity of these communities.”

The proposals will be considered by members of the council’s planning committee at a meeting on Wednesday (October 27, 2021).

Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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