Rugby star’s plans for family homes comes under fire from community

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.

 

Editor

From Llanelli Wales. Worked in education and media for most of my career. Now working as a freelance journalist. Interested in World events, politics, education. Specialist area is social and journalistic photography.
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