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1.1 Under the requirements of the Housing Act 2004 and Welsh Office Circular 30/2007 'Planning for Gypsy & Traveller Caravan Sites' all local authorities in Wales are required to identify the housing needs of gypsies and travellers in its area and make provision for any needs identified. In addition the Housing (Wales) Bill which received Royal Assent and became an Act on 17th September 2014 includes provisions to place a duty on local authorities to provide sites where a need has been identified.
1.2 A North Wales Gypsy & Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment (GTANA) published in 2013 on behalf of several North Wales local authorities identified a need for 3 residential pitches in Conwy to 2016 (projected to grow by 3% per annum to 2021). In addition a 'regional' need for 7 transit pitches was identified, preferably to be located near the A55 and the Conwy Denbighshire border. This 'transit provision could be in the form of transit pitches (for up to 3 months stay) or temporary stopping places (up to 28 days stay).
1.3 Having regard to the above requirements the adopted Conwy LDP contains a commitment by the Council to identify and seek planning permission for suitable gypsy and traveller sites in the County Borough and incorporates a strict timetable for the process. In line with this timetable the Council undertook a public 'call for sites' and established a Gypsy & Traveller Working Group in 2013 and work has subsequently been progressing on site identification and assessment. This work has involved consultation with various Council Departments and statutory authorities on the suitability of sites in terms of, for example, access, availability of services, and environmental impact. Importantly, the site assessment has been carried out in line with Welsh Governments Planning Policy Wales (Edition 7 2014), Circular 30/2007 'Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Caravan Sites' and Policy HOU/9 of the Local Development Plan, where brownfield sites in the area of need are sequentially preferable and should be given priority over other greenfield sites.
1.4 As a result of this process the Council has produced a shortlist of possible sites and a site off the Old Bangor Road, Conwy is currently the preferred location for a residential site of 3-4 pitches and a site at the former Smithy layby off St Asaph Road near St George and Conwy Denbighshire border is currently the preferred location for transit provision.