CAMPAIGNERS celebrated outside Flintshire County Council HQ after controversial plans for a Gypsy camp on their doorstep were thrown out.
About 50 protestors descended on County Hall in Mold yesterday afternoon to make their voices heard before proposals for the permanent site in Ewloe were rejected by council planners.
Dave Mackie, county councillor for Ewloe, said: “I am very pleased it’s exactly what we wanted to happen.”
Pat Williams, one of the leaders of the Ewloe Green Action Group, said: “This had vindicated what we felt all along– that this development was totally unsuitable.”
She added: “We are very satisfied with the turnout here today, it shows the strength of feeling against the development.”
Community leaders vowed to oppose plans to develop land off Magazine Lane after angry residents formed Ewloe Green Action Group 18 months ago and sent dozens of letters of objection to the council.
A public meeting held in summer 2010 was attended by more than 200 people opposed to Green Planning Solutions’s proposals to station residential caravans on five pitches and create utility buildings and spaces for touring mobile homes.
Campaigners claimed the plans were out-of-keeping with the area and raised concerns about traffic, drainage and sewage.
They also maintained the ‘green barrier’ between Ewloe and Northop Hall shouldn’t be developed.
Cllr Mackie added: “The preservation of the green barrier is vital.
“I would oppose any development of this area, even if the applicant was Her Majesty the Queen.”
Members of the planning committee ruled they was already adequate provision for Gypsies and Travellers in Flintshire and they did not want to approve plans for more, before receiving the results of a survey by Bangor University into whether more should be provided.
But Matthew Green of Green Planning Solutions said his company would appeal – and added he was confident of victory.
He told the committee: “I suggest you take legal advice before refusing the application.
“Planning committees laugh at me regularly and councils pay the bills later on.”
Mr Green said the council could be accused of being anti-Gypsy if the application was refused, a claim Cllr Bernie Attridge described as ‘disgraceful’.
Cllr Christine Jones said: “We have nothing against Gypsies and Travellers in our community.”
see also Flintshire Gypsy camp plan is turned down