Angry outburst almost causes meeting to be suspended

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Monday, February 10th, 2020 7:08am

By Emily Gill - Local Democracy Reporter

A Monmouthshire planning committee has approved plans to convert land near Crick into a travellers site for two park homes, despite an angry outburst from the applicant which almost caused the meeting to be suspended.

Martin Flynn, who applied for planning permission for two park homes and four touring caravans on land adjacent to Sunnybank, became angry with the planning committee after several councillors voiced concerns about potential overdevelopment and the safety of the site.

Not liking what he heard, Mr Flynn got out from his seat in the public gallery and started shouting at the committee. His words were not captured by the webcast.

The committee’s vice-chairman, who was sitting as chair for the meeting, Cllr Peter Clarke said that he could suspend the meeting.

He said: “Mr Flynn, 12 of us are here trying desperately to come to the right decision for you and you are not helping us by keeping continually giving outbursts.

“If you continue, I will suspend this meeting and I will have to ask you to leave

“I don’t want to do that, I want you to hear all sides but if you continue to interrupt this meeting I will suspend it.”

Mr Flynn returned to his seat in the public gallery for the rest of the meeting.

It was comments from Cllr Phil Murphy and Cllr Louise Brown, which had prompted the outburst.

Cllr Phil Murphy, who represents the neighbouring village Caerwent, said he had thought long and hard about the application.

He said: “There are certain aspects of this proposed development which concern me.

“My overall concern is for the amount of development proposed on the site, particularly when the touring vans are there.

Cllr Louise Brown said: “My main concern is for the residential safety of the applicants and their family in terms of the potential for a landslip in this particular area.

“I am also concerned about residential safety for those using the A48 and the residential safety for the applicants when they come in and out of the site.”

However, these concerns were later cleared up by the council’s planning development manager Craig O’Connor, who said there was a serious need for traveller sites.

He said: “This site is a privately owned site.

“This site provides that need so it would be fulfilling our duty of requirement and our duty of care.

“There’s no reason from a planning point of view to refuse this application.

“If it’s considered too much development, that is something that can be looked at.”

Councillors approved the application, subject to additional conditions which included the removal of the four touring caravans and a review into the stability of the site.

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