"We need a mass outpouring of dissent" - Sully residents urged to unite and fight official traveller camp proposal
11:27am Wednesday 9th October 2013 in Penarth news
SULLY residents have been urged to unite against the proposal to make the unauthorised traveller site on Hayes Road legal and permanent, at a public meeting attended by hundreds of locals.
Around 300 people packed the Jubilee Hall in the village to make their fury known against the Vale of Glamorgan Council decision to earmark the former civic amenity site and public open space behind it for 18-official traveller pitches, in its new Local Development Plan (LDP).
Many residents lined the halls of the community facility last night (Tuesday October 8) and even packed the small kitchen to hear community council members and local councillors say a “mass outpouring of dissent” was needed over the issue.
Lino Scaglioni, chairman of Sully Community Council and Sully Residents Association, said: “The one weapon that will change council policy is strong public opinion.”
The community council said the more people who could attend the full Vale Council meeting later this month, when the LDP will be debated, the better.
Deputy chair Ian Barlow said: “We need people in the public gallery and protesting outside, at both the front and back entrances.”
The camp would be be located near the local Ty Hafan hospice, next to a college for autistic youngsters, and opposite a chemical plant.
Sully councillor Bob Penrose said: “Issues of equality and prejudice are not relevant. The fact is the site is unsuitable.”
It was questioned why the vale village of Llangan – previously identified as a proposed site – had been ruled out.
But speaking at an informal drop-in session to discuss the LDP in Penarth on Monday night (October 7), council leader Neil Moore said Llangan “lacks amenities”.
A large sign was on the wall in the hall on Tuesday which said ‘Sully says no to gypsy and traveller site’.
When asked to vote who wanted the official site, not a single person raised their hand.
Many spoke out during the hour-and-a-half long meeting to raise fears over the effects on house prices and tourism, with the Wales Coastal Path to run alongside the boundary to the traveller camp.
One resident said: “We must do something drastic to make the council take notice of how we feel.”
Another added: “We have to show how much we care about our community.”
A single voice in favour of the travellers came from local man David Kennedy. A statement read on his behalf said: “We must rise above the urge for confrontation, and work together to secure a safe and peaceful future for the travellers in our community.”
No Vale of Glamorgan cabinet members or officers attended the meeting.
Nor did any members of the travelling community, but one did contact the paper this morning (Wednesday October 9) to say they may release a statement next week.
Last week Sully Community Council called the traveller site plan an act of “planning vandalism” intended to destroy the village.
An action group previously set up to fight the unathorised site is working with the community council, it was said at the meeting.
Anger was also voiced on Tuesday over the loss of community allotments planned for the public open space the camp will occupy.
Last week, Mr Scaglioni said: “The community have been misled by the local authority for several months into thinking that their proposal for the site would be turned into a reality.”
Plover Way homeowner Michael Garland said in an email: “If used as community and educational allotment, the land will remain in the scope of public open space and will have no detrimental effect on the slip way, the car park, or the coastal path and their usage. Give the community what it needs.”
A protest is to be held at the site, it was resolved at the meeting.
The LDP also laid out plans for a 500 home ‘reserve’ site in Sully should its 10,000 home target fall short, with 235 dwellings at nearby upper Cosmeston Farm, Lavernock – including land for a new school.
Julian Wynn of the Saving Sully action group, who are opposed to the controversial Cog Road housing proposal from Taylor Wimpey, said Sully was “under siege”.
“Sully has become a politically convenient dumping ground for unpopular planning decisions,” he said.
The new LDP is a replacement document, produced following concerns over the plan put forward by the previous administration.
Once adopted it will guide how land within the Vale is used until 2026.
A statutory consultation will be held over the plan during November and December.
The plan is available at www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/ldp
The Saving Sully action group website is www.savingsully.org.uk
The Sully Residents Association website is http://www.sullyresidents.co.uk/community-council
The community council are looking for people to help with a campaig agaisnt the traveller site, and have urged interested parties to get in touch.
Details are to be uploaded on its website regarding a possible protest at the full council meeting to be held at the Civic Offices in Barry on October 23.