Residents and councillors have raised concerns over the planning application for a traveller site in Llangennech. The application has been submitted by Llanelli and Wales rugby player Samson Lee.
The application is for: Creation of 10 additional traveller pitches to the west of PL/00775 (Plots 5-14) with alternative layout, ecological and landscape enhancements and extension to approved internal access road (Phase III)
A video posted recently on Facebook shows huge amounts of dirty water flowing down off the site into the school playground.
The head of the school has also submitted his objections to the plans including concerns over flooding. A large number of objections from residents also highlight flooding concerns as well as the loss of green habitat, increase in traffic, privacy issues and road safety issues.
It is understood that Mr Lee has apologised for the latest incident whereby the yard was flooded and has offered to clean it up.
County Councillor Gary Robert Jones who represents the ward said: “As a County Councillor representing Llangennech and Bryn , I have maintained an opposition to large scale developments here. Recently myself and The community council opposed the building on land above the school, on road safety concerns , involving the nearness to the bypass and Ysgol Llangennech. With a new proposal to increase the number of pitches , residents have pointed out to the potential for flooding and water logging of their properties ( a survey in the application says this is not a concern) As with other large developments in the village, I am concerned at 1. The loss of green areas 2 The loss of woodlands and habitats 3. The need for more infrastructure 4 Road safety and Congestion. Cllr Jones said that the Community Council is in agreement some of the concerns.”
On 18th November 2020 a full planning application (Ref PL/00775) was submitted for the creation of four family traveller pitches on 0.63 ha of land located to the south of the A4138 and north of Llangennech Junior School. The application was presented to the Council’s Planning Committee for determination on 24th June 2021. The Committee concurred with the Head of Planning that the proposal was in accordance with the relevant National and Local Development Plan policies and conditional planning permission was granted. An application (Ref PL/02792) was submitted on 29th September 2021 to discharge a number of conditions, and this was approved on 16th December 2021. Preparation works have since commenced on site, which include dealing with the gas pipe line and overhead electricity wires.
Gary Anderson Head of Llangennech School submitted his response as follows:
“To whom it may concern, Please note the following concerns in relation to the above planning application: *The village of Llangennech is a densely populated area with extremely high traffic challenges especially in the Maes y Dderwen locality and the bypass section. This is will only get worse. *The very narrow lane where the proposed extension of planning is already strained, congested and dangerous. *Currently the land in question has poor drainage and works so far has caused flooding on the school yard below. *Concerns are raised to the further felling of healthy trees. *Privacy of the school play area will be effected considerably. *Concerns over the lack of sewerage services.”
Donna Price said: “This village has already seen an increase drastically in traffic from the sites but I have serious concerns over the new site and the visibility of the yard below in the school. There is a big difference to a site being there already and one being built knowing that children could be put in to jeopardy but allowing this to continue! The road to the school is very congested and we have regular police patrols due to the volume of cars ‐ more properties means more children trying to get to school! The mess on the road from the work already done to the site is disgusting. We have a nice village which will be spoilt further to more traveller sites added! I wholly object to this application ‐ has this been advertised as I am certain I would have been aware if it had and I have not!”
Justin Williams said: “Since the 1st phase of this project has started my garden will regularly flood with any rain water , I’ve lived in the property for 15 yrs and never had any flooding issues until the recent ground works started on these 4 plots , my other main concern is the access point which is a couple of metres from the junior school entrance, traffic is a massive issue as it is , there is restrictions on turnings in and out to the bypass on what is probably one of the most dangerous junctions in llangennech, if someone took some time to monitor this junction they’d see how unsafe it is , as the travellers from accross the Rd and other members of the public more than often illegally turn the wrong way out of the junction, it’s basically an accident waiting to happen.”
Anthony Lewis commented: “Since the development I have observed a substantial increase in rain/ floodwater coming from the site, my garage has recently been flooded and I’ve not seen this ever since I moved into the property 16 years ago.”
Wyn Davies commented: “It’s pertinent that today I write our concerns regarding the above mentioned planning application, as following overnight rain, our garden is yet again underwater and inaccessible. We have lived at the address for over 20 years and never had this issue until the current phase of the project began. I would welcome a visit from the planning committee to view the issues we are experiencing. In addition, the noise from the machinery and workers involved in the project has been at times unbearable and made it impossible to enjoy being outside during the nice weather. Considering that we are retiring this year, our plans to spend a leisurely time in our garden has been destroyed. Also of great concern to me is the danger at the access point to the site. It is near the busy A4138 and local schools. Traffic congestion at peak times has to be seen to be believed and has not been helped by the constant flow of traffic crossing the A4138 from the site on Gipsy Lane to the building project. It is just a matter of time until unfortunately a fatality will occur. I respectfully request that a consultation be considered involving the residents of Maes Ty Gwyn and the village as a whole. This project were it to be approved, would have a significant negative impact on our wonderful village.”
One resident drew attention to contradictions in policy from the council saying: “Carmarthenshire County Council has just recently declared a nature emergency declaration motion to tie in with their climate emergency legislation. This supports the maintenance of green areas.”
Cefin Campbell MS said he would like the council to listen to the concerns of local residents and that they would be taken on board and discussed fully by the planning committee when determining the application.
We contacted Carmarthenshire County Council for a comment.