The existing – but illegal – travellers’ encampment on the old recycling site outside Sully

The Vale of Glamorgan Council is proposing to set up a new permanent gipsy camp at  Hayeswood Road between Barry and Sully.

The council has picked the new site – which will cost £2,300,000 to develop –  because it’s close the existing (illegal ) site outside Sully and is “well placed for access to the amenities of Barry”.

The new site backs onto a row of terraced houses between Sully and Barry

Sully Villagers have campaigned for months about the earlier plans to set up a permanent travellers’ encampment in their village. The new site is well outside the perimeter of the village

The existing illegal encampment is at the former refuse recycling facility at Hayes Road on the outskirts of Sully which has been illegally occupied by travellers for many years. If the new site is approved the present illegal encampment will be closed

The proposal for the new site – to replace the illegal site –  follows a long search for a suitable site which had taken into consideration public land and  known private areas that had been “previously promoted for this use“.

The leader of the Conservative-run Vale of Glamorgan Council – Cllr John Thomas threatened to “review” PACL’s lease

Cllr John Thomas Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan COuncil says “As a Council, we must ensure that we provide suitable accommodation for all those within our community and Gypsy and Traveller groups are certainly no exception to this.Having somewhere to call home is a basic human right that everyone is entitled to. It is fundamental to our wellbeing and provides children with an environment in which they can grow and develop.

After careful consideration and discussions with local Gypsy and Traveller representatives, we believe we have found an excellent site that caters for their specific needs, although the proposal will need to be carefully considered at the planning stage.

Hopefully this location can provide them a permanent home, a base from which they can be valued and productive members of our community.”

The proposed site for the new gipsy caravan encampment  is behind a terrace of existing houses

The chosen site – Hayes Wood –  is will be subject public consultation and if confirmed  will cover an area of approximately 1.9 acres and feature 20 plots, a play area, office/community space and bin compound.

The council says “Only once all opinions have been thoroughly considered will the Council decide the best way forward, while the proposal is also subject to the planning process and a successful capital bid to Welsh Government.”

The new site could be ready for use “some time in 2020”.


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  1. Paul says:

    No, they have enjoyed expense free living at an illegal camp for too long anyway without legitimising their status now. Kick them out as they should have done at the start. No one else would get this preferential treatment, or if they really are above the law them move them onto the barrage or Penarth heights so we have a visual reminder every day how spineless councils and politicians can be.

  2. Christopher David says:

    Yup- break the law and you get a £2,3 million reward- which the rest of us pay for. What could £2.3 million do for the housing shortage? Instead the VoG want to build a holiday camp for the alleged criminals. The council mocks us.

  3. Im a live and let live kinda guy but ive always struggled to accept that the “system” should expend time / energy and resources on accomodating those that choose to live outside it???

    i wouldnt turn up at a butchers and demand a lettuce because im a vegatarian… nor would i expect people whos way of life i choose to live outside (in this instance taxpaying) to fund or provide for mine…

    im in noway xenophobic…. i would apply the same priciples to all people.. over the years i have worked with and mixed alongside travellers and they are not always the people they are painted out to be… the same could be said of immigrants / refugues / the religious and possibly even politicians… but i think you play the game or you dont.

    i would very much like to buy some land and live on it and pay taxes … i cant … i have to accept that so why shouldnt everyone else?

  4. gareth says:

    Wait for the Cardiff grounds to fill up with 300 million tons of radioactive mud and build it there on the reclaimed land.

  5. The Tax payer says:

    HOW MUCH ? What about paying for other services that us TAX PAYERS pay in to like schools and health. Seems to me the less you pay in the more you get out in life. This has got to be a joke ??

  6. OB says:

    Absolutely unacceptable to build a traveller camp behind houses, which will be rendered unsaleable. Perhaps Councillor Thomas would like a two-acre residential scrapyard behind his house? An industrial site should be the only option for this misbegotten scheme dreamed up by people who seem not to live in the real world.

  7. Steven says:

    Have the travellers been moved from the ground behind the international swimming pool Cardiff?
    Was advised not to walk along the path way due to the human waste deposited along the path.

  8. Ocobblepot says:

    These itinerants don`t pay tax of any kind, choose to live the way that they do .. yet … the idiot council leader thinks it`s a good idea for us, the law abiding tax payers pick up a bill so they can carry on taking the piddle …… A site like described will attract more of their ilk from who knows where, and the problems that they will bring with them. It`s about time these councillors did their jobs properly and look after the people paying their overblown wages.

  9. Vic says:

    So, let’s get this right! I live in Hayes Point, so my house price will inevitably devalue (as will Hayes Lane houses). To add insult to injury, we’re expected to chip in to pay for these ‘travellers’ from our council tax. Will they be under the same rules as us regarding rubbish collections/recycling etc.? Like to see how the council enforce fines on them!

    • snoggerdog says:

      the ‘travellers’ already do recycling,a metal seat was taken from my front garden also my neighbours iron gate,10am they were there 1015 gone very efficient !

      • snoggerdog says:

        and on a saturday as well.

      • Ocobblepot says:

        That may not have been ‘travellers’ but may have been `Pikeys` …. I don`t know what the difference between them is, The `travellers` don`t seem to do much travelling, just out of the `site` and back again ….. we all could be regarded as `travellers` in that case.

  10. Dizzydeb says:

    What would they want wheelie bins for??
    Look at Rover Way, they don’t know what bins are for, it’s a DISGRACE, along with the way they treat their horses, which are tethered up, with no water.
    No way can you do this to the law abiding, community charge paying, residents of Sully and Hayes Point.
    What with this and nuclear mud dumping maybe we should all stop paying the extortionate community charges until the Vale start listening!

    • That’s odd. The horses all had water when I passed them yesterday and the owners were out checking on them.

    • Ocobblepot says:

      If you don`t pay the ridiculous BBC television licence you could be banged up, Don`t pay
      Council Tax and they throw away the key … (maybe not).

  11. Andrew Worsley says:

    Not sure what your all panicking about , once word gets around about Penarth having a nuclear waste dumping ground only a hop .skip and a jump away from its beach , its more than likely the the price of homes near the sea front will fall as the town begins its decline , and who knows these very travellers may start to club together to buy the homes at a reduced price due to the polluted town from dust carried on the wind and other washed upon the beach……………….Just imagine in say 30/40 years these same travellers saying .” yes we bought most of the homes around here at knock down prices , as the owners made a run for it , so to speak. Gone is the genteel and sedate image of Penarth as it used to be pictured , no longer an ideal place to reside……………..Or something along those lines ….

  12. I totally agree with this. I as a member of the Liberal Party chief executive proposed in 2004 that all councils in Britian should provide this type of site. As a Gypsy myself I am proud of the Leader of the councils stance. Well done, and this is about time.

  13. Frank Evans says:

    Shocking waste of council tax payers money.
    What everyone needs is some minority legislation in their favour and a good lobbying setup and bingo you hit the jackpot.

  14. parsons says:

    How far away does Cllr John Thomas live from Hayes Road?

  15. Plassey Resident says:

    I don’t think it’s fair to choose this site. I mean I appreciate that people need to live somewhere but it shouldn’t be behind existing houses. I also disagree that the tax payer should pick up the tab to the tune of millions. There are far better causes to spend money on. Try providing support for pensioners, or better healthcare or better still the viewing platform needs fixing….

  16. Jm says:

    Funny how this has come out just as the campaign against the nuclear sludge is gaining traction … next it’ll be an Islamic college in sully again (remember that one?).
    Stop the mud first, and then worry about itinerants?

  17. Nincompoop says:

    Several questions:
    What are their “specific needs?”
    Would any of them know how to be “ productive and valued members of our community”?
    It seems to me as if the travellers want to be outside of the normal boundaries of decency and respect and any attempt to get them to engage in a community outside their own will be met with derision by them.

    As far as I’m aware most of the girls are still discouraged from any schooling beyond the age of 12, and instead end up becoming housewives. Hardly going to go down well in Penarth.

  18. Fishhenge says:

    On the outskirts of Llandow Trading Estate is where it needs to be.

  19. Dis gruntled says:

    Typical ridiculous statement from a council leader, I wonder how he would feel if it was near his “back yard”, and to say they will contribute to the local community is an absolute joke ( though they should as they have a total disregard for paying taxes of any description, get rid of them, they are a blight on the community.

  20. Mrs Harrhy says:

    I live right in front of the proposed site and I disagree with moving the travilersame behind my home as it will cause vermin and traverlers are well now to steel what about my rights to live in a safe environment. And why shouldo the tax payers fit the bill if the council want them to live some where put them down the five miles Lane or some where away from residential area.

    • Gary says:

      I, too, am bemused by the intention to put a gipsy camp within a residential area.
      Who came up with the idea of forcing the gipsies into a place so heavily overlooked??
      As others have mentioned, the gipsies’ traditional preference appears to be for somewhere more private – NOT backing onto a terrace of houses.
      why this obsession with locating the camp so close to a residential area when both parties would probably prefer to maintain their seclusion and freedom from interference?
      I’d be interested to hear the gipsies’ opinion.
      Those rural Vale sites sound just the ticket – plenty of space and the gipsies would not be overlooked – something I imagine they would prefer to avoid.
      Think of all that space out round St Athan way – far less claustrophobic.
      why not have a big £2.3m site over there?

  21. Jack says:

    I see the emphasis is being put on the site being “well placed for access to the amenities of Barry”.
    Does that mean council leader John Thomas lives in a more rural environment, thereby discounting any possibility of his garden ever backing on to a gipsy camp?
    Nobody seemed bothered about proximity to “amenities” with Rover Way.

  22. Phil says:

    Here’s the council deciding where the gipsies will live but have those who will move there been asked their preference for location?
    I really hope the council hasn’t done its usual trick of failing to consult its customers.
    I can’t imagine anyone – gipsy or not – wanting to back onto a row of houses – no privacy.
    Yet if they were granted a location further into the Vale of Glamorgan, the gipsies would have more of the unmonitored independence which they appear to value.
    This FOI attachment makes interesting reading and includes several fine locations in the rural Vale – the likes of Llanbethian, Llanmaes, Llantwit Major, Llanmihangel, Llangan, St Donats…
    What’s wrong with round there then?


    • Kevin Mahoney says:

      The travellers currently occupying the former amenity site at Hayes Rd refuse to speak to the council.

      As I have pointed out over and over and questioned the council how can they possibly come to a need for 20 plots for travellers on their gypsy assessment plan when the only travellers in the area refuse to speak to them and have on any number of occasions stated publicly that they will not use a regulated site and only use disused bits of land that they can find.

      To compound matters the council have repeatedly been refused access to their own land at the amenity site so have guessed how many families are actually there to base their plans on.

      • Time to Wake up to the Waste of Money says:

        If this is the case, Cllr Mahoney, how can the council even moot spending £2.3million squid on a facility which the travellers have stated – ‘on any number of occasions’ – that they WILL NOT USE?
        And which, being apparently based on guesswork, may not be adequate for the travellers’ needs in any event?
        I’m staggered by what you say. Is this true? If so, then how on earth is the plan on the table?
        Seriously, the Vale needs reining in NOW.
        I know the council has form in wasting our money on redundant projects without consultation – that obscene viewing platform in Penarth for starters – but how can this be allowed to proceed ANY FURTHER on this basis?
        Thank you for taking the trouble to respond, Cllr Mahoney – I don’t see Bob Penrose commenting. Is he on holiday?

  23. Curious of Sully says:

    what bob penrose saying about this?
    not heard a squeak from him yet?

  24. Andrew Worsley says:

    Lol Plassey resident … the viewing platform needs fixing …… lol this folly or money wasting white elephant is beyond saving, and do try to keep up with events or go and camp out on the viewing platform lol.

  25. Why don't they Listen? says:

    The council leader’s comments about “having somewhere to call home is a basic human right” appear to me somewhat perfunctory if what Kevin Mahoney says is correct.
    Why are the travellers having this foisted on them when they have apparently made it clear they do not want such a site.
    Why does the council not listen to them? No wonder they are suspicious of “authority”.
    If I was a traveller, I would feel this was simply a box-ticking exercise – perhaps the council is getting funding from the Welsh Assembly for this? – and that nobody really understands the travellers’ hopes and needs.
    You watch. if this gets built – at a cost of £2.3million, it won’t be the council that gets it in the neck. People will moan about the travellers being “ungrateful” etc and yet they have said they DO NOT WANT THIS FACILITY ON THIS SITE AND WILL NOT USE IT
    What part of that is so difficult for the council to understand? Not least when £2.3 million will be wasted.
    It seems to me as though there’s too much “funding” sloshing around, enabling the council to be cavalier with their budget which – wherever it comes from – originally belonged to us.

  26. Kevin Mahoney says:

    Time to wake up to the waste of money….

    Well you’ve hit the nail on the head the council apparently are prepared to spend £2.3m on a site for a number of pitches that they have guessed the need for ( despite of course commissioning a firm to prepare various assessments over a number of years ) due to a lack of response from travellers in the area, mentioned in their report presented to cabinet.

    I challenged a representative of a previous firm commissioned by the Vale to prepare an assessment, face to face at the inquiry into the need for such a site and how the numbers were arrived at, who blustered about before I reiterated that as their report actually stated that that they were unable to elicit a response from travellers local to the area that they had to guess the number of pitches required which doesn’t really constitute an accurate or really any kind of assessment, we can all come up with a made up number can’t we? Except of course that we’d do it for free as opposed to being paid to prepare a report.

    The only identified report that I am aware of, commissioned some years ago that claimed to have a response from travellers states quite clearly that those who responded wished to have a site located near to the A48 and in fact mentioned a preference for the Cowbridge area.

    I pointed out that it is generally acknowledged 80% of travellers live in what is described as bricks and mortar and who out of them had been contacted for their response and the answer is of course none. I asked how these people were contacted for a response and was told “We placed adverts in the Traveller Times newspaper” I pointed out to the Vale council that they were the only body who could possibly consult this community as only they had the means of identifying members of such a community and it was revealed that despite insisting that there was a need for a site that the Vale had no register or means of identifying traveller numbers or any ability to consult such a community due to this, so how can any of this constitute an accurate ( or indeed any type of ) Traveller need assessment.

    So I am still at a total loss as to how the Vale of Glamorgan can possibly come up with any figures whatsoever as they claim that no one that they have managed to identify to me has spoken to them to date asking for a pitch and certainly not the current occupants of the former amenity site who have repeatedly stated in public that they will not occupy a regulated site, this non response is repeatedly stated in the Vale’s own assessment papers over a number of years.

    There is of course a 2 acre pristine council plot of land ( detailed plans were submitted to the Vale 3+ years ago showing that it was large enough to site all requirements for the layout of such a site with all required amenties) near the A48 at Llangan not backing onto any existing houses which was the top prefered council choice of site until it was suddenly switched to the slipway paddock at Sully next to the occupied former amenity site by the Labour administration. One would think surely that as myself and others successfully argued that the slipway site was unsuitable for many reasons including the safety of any occupants, that the next site on the list would be brought forward and yet the Vale have conjured up yet another site rather than their own already owned Llangan site previously identified by them as a suitable site.

    It must be fairly obvious that if £2.3m is spent on a new site and there are no identified users then it follows that the site can only be populated by people outside the area attracted by an empty site rather than an intended purpose of fulfilling a need within the area.

    If the council called round your house offering a free full house renovation carried out through a grant and you refused to speak to them then quite naturally you would be left out of any such scheme. Why is this sitiation any different?

    The members of the cabinet who voted to progress this site cabinet of course is made up of Conservatives from Flemingston, Bonvilston, Cowbridge (2), Llancarfan and Duffryn who of course live nowhere near this site as well as Bob Penrose.

    It is of course yet again decent ordinary people whose hard earned largest asset of a house which no doubt the occupants might well in many cases have been hoping to eventually pass the value on to Sons, Daughters and Grandchildren who may be affected by any new development so close to their houses rather than those making the decisions.

    I did warn against voting for the Conservative, or Labour parties at the last local elections due to the determination of both to progress such schemes in this area, I wonder what those who did vote for them are thinking now?

    As regards Bob Penrose you would have to contact him for his views rather than myself.

    • Most Enlightening says:

      Just digesting this extract from Kevin O’Mahoney’s excellent update…
      “The members of the cabinet who voted to progress this site cabinet of course is made up of Conservatives from Flemingston, Bonvilston, Cowbridge (2), Llancarfan and Duffryn who of course live nowhere near this site as well as Bob Penrose.”

  27. White Elephant says:

    Why is the council going to spend £2.3m of our money on a site which:
    a) travellers say they will not use
    b) is not based on any valid research
    c) contradicts the travellers’ preferences
    That council-owned 2-acre plot near the A48 at Llangan sounds tailor-made, especially when one considers that travellers have expressed a preference for a site near the A48.
    What is going on?

  28. Scarlet Pimpernel says:

    Any word from Bob Penrose, our Sully ‘independent’ councillor on this issue?
    While Kevin O’Mahoney has provided speedy, informed responses, we have yet to hear from Bob – “I only want what is best for the residents of my ward of Sully and Lavernock” Penrose.
    Why’s that then?

    • Poor Show says:

      Perhaps he’s in the Caribbean, swimming with dolphins off Isla Mujeres, blissfully unaware of his constituents’ growing concerns.

      • Crisis of Conscience says:

        He could be surfing in French Polynesia or whale watching in Vancouver but one thing Bob Penrose ain’t doing is explaining his position on this issue to the constituents who voted him in.
        People are talking, they’re disappointed.
        He needs to do the honourable thing and walk from the cabinet before it all kicks off.

      • David says:

        I don’t care if he’s rock climbing in the Costa Blanca or snorkelling off the Giens peninsula.
        What’s the man playing at?
        The poster saying he should walk from the cabinet is absolutely right.
        Councillor Penrose needs to do the right thing by his LOYAL constituents before we lose faith in his integrity.

  29. just heard about this FARCE says:

    Beggars belief that the council is pursuing this course of action with NO valid assessment to justify the VAST COST.

  30. Andrew Worsley says:

    Just a note of detail about the card holding group or is it banners in the protest photo, how come none of them has spelt Sully with a capital ‘S’ may be a minor detail to some but its the name of the village but not worthy of that honour!!? Obviously English grammer is not a strong point with this neat and tidy ‘so called’ respectable rabble lol!
    Yes it seems silly that some souls in Sully sounding off make somewhat of a spectacle of themselves by displaying a gap in their education by a simple spelling mistake ………..(and its on every poster , so no one picked it up or sought to correct).. really I mean really, tsk ! tsk ! waste of an education.

    • mr ed says:

      spot the difference SULLY vs sully

    • Scootergirl says:

      Why are so condescending of people trying to do their best. You should concentrate on the consequences of this totally unwanted ‘site’ so near residential homes – never mind about ‘minor details’ of apparent grammar errors, which in my opinion are not there, because if you look closely the word SULLY is printed in Capital letters. So you would be better placed in supporting the protestors not critising them.
      And by the way how did they spell GRAMMAR when you were educated, as I do believe you’ve spelt it wrong – oops !!!!!!!

  31. Christopher David says:

    Penrose is notorious for ducking and diving- he ignores or passes the buck. Thanks Kevin Mahoney. Very enlightening.

    • Crisis of Conscience says:

      Is that so?
      Wasn’t aware that Bob Penrose is ‘notorious for ducking and diving’ and that he ‘ignores of passes the buck’.
      I do know a growing number of people who are fuming about this situation.
      Very grateful to kevin Mahoney for providing such illuminating – and useful – info.

      • John says:

        Kevin Mahony is coming across very well. Very impressed with his diligence and transparency.

      • Christopher David says:

        Now now facetious one-I’ve done the Vancouver (it’s called Chancouver now by the locals) whale thing and personally I don’t want Penrose or the other ducker/ divers attention brought to it. Jeezzz can you imagine- yer on the boat and ……:-)

  32. Michael says:

    Come on, Bob, do the right thing.
    Do we understand each other?

  33. Scootergirl says:

    What an absolutely crazy idea – to build a ‘traveller’ site immediately next to residential homes!! Come on councillors surely even you can’t consider this fair. Plus a large part of the £2.3 million should be given to the residents of these existing properties, for the considerable amount of depreciation in value of their homes that will occur if it is built there, and that’s even if they can sell them at all.

    Think again !!!

  34. G-reg says:

    Some 70 acres of land surrounding the Hayes road proposed site are in consultation with planning bringing forward hundreds of new factory’s which will encourage hundreds of possible new businesses and jobs to the area
    No one in the council has mentioned this site in consultation discussions?
    If this site is to go ahead this will certainly jeopardise the future of this area
    For example Atlantic trading estate has become a desirable area for businesses to relocate

    Questions John Thomas etc must ask before spending such vast amounts of money
    Has anyone asked do they want to move to this site and has any traveller signed up!! justifying councils reasoning ?
    Has anyone asked if New age travellers, Romaine travellers, Irish travellers, etc can and will live on the same site together and in harmony?
    There is already a designated site in the vale so we need a good answer from John Thomas why Vale council require this site?

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