RESIDENTS are gearing up for tonight's public meeting over plans to create a permanent residential and one transit gypsy and traveller site near St Asaph.

The meeting will take place tonight (November 8) at 7.30pm at Glan Clwyd School.

Residents in the city have reacted with fury to a public consultation on the plans, launched by Denbighshire County Council. The proposal is to develop a residential gypsy and traveller site and a transit gypsy and traveller site with five pitches, both at Green-gates Farm East.

Signs stating ‘Say No’ have been put up in the city.

An informal drop-in session was held at St Asaph Library on Tuesday between 2pm and 7pm. More than 100 people attended.

One resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "I was at the consultation, which was supposed to be open to the public. All of the town and city councillors were standing outside, being refused entry.

"It is a council policy to exclude them process, which is frankly ridiculous and apparently has come from the top of Denbighshire County Council."

A spokesperson from Denbighshire County Council dismissed the claim and said "the suggestion that town and city councillors were refused entry to the drop-in is misleading."

A spokesperson added: "They had every right to go into the drop-in session like any other interested parties and did so throughout the afternoon and early evening.

“Some of the representatives of the city council had requested a table at the event, but as the drop-in was a county council –led session, the city council representatives were asked to set up their stand in the foyer where they could speak to people entering and leaving the drop-in. It was the city council’s decision to stand outside the building. However, they returned inside the building later in the day.

“With regards to the council’s discussions, any matters deemed to be of a commercially sensitive nature would be discussed in the part of a council meeting where the press and public are excluded. That is normal procedure when it comes to discussing commercially sensitive information.

“The council wishes to emphasise that no decision has been made. The pre-planning consultation is on-going and people can view and comment on the proposals by visiting the council’s website."

Concerned resident Leanne Groves said if the plans are given the go-ahead, it will impact her family “ dramatically”.

Leanne’s property will be surrounded by the proposed sites.

Leanne said: “The proposals for the gypsy and travellers’ sites at Greengate Farm, St Asaph are very worrying. If the gypsy and travellers’ sites are given the go-ahead, it will be built on both sides of my home.

"We purchased this house to cater for the very specific needs of my young daughter who has profound and severe learning disabilities. We had no idea that there were any proposals to put any gypsy/travellers’ sites on the agricultural land near the house when we bought it."

Cllr Tony Thomas, Cabinet Lead Member for Housing, Regulation and the Environment, said: “All councils in Wales are required to assess the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers and this is reflected in the Council’s Corporate Plan.

"The Council wants to support people living in their own homes that meet their needs and ensure there is a wide range of accommodation available to suit different needs.

"We have spent months considering suitable pieces of land across the county and the Green-gates Farm East location has been identified as a possible suitable location.

"We want to emphasise that no decision has been made and we would urge anyone wanting to have their say to get involved through the council’s website."