SULLY Community Council has criticised the leader of the Vale Council for failing to attend public meetings about the Local Development Plan (LDP).

David Roberts, clerk to the community council, said that Councillor Neil Moore had been invited to several public meetings to discuss residents' concerns about the LDP but that he had failed to attend any of them.

He said it was “hugely frustrating” that residents were unable to question Cllr Moore, as well as cabinet members of the Vale Council, about several issues that affect the Sully and Lavernock areas.

Residents have strongly opposed and set up a Saving Sully action group, campaigning against plans for 350 houses to be built on land south of Cog Road by housing developer Taylor Wimpey, further proposed development at Upper Cosmeston Farm, and the designation of the former recycling site on Hayes Road as an official traveller site.

“It’s terribly frustrating for local residents as we had a number of public meetings which they were invited to but they declined to come,” said Mr Roberts.

“We wanted to discuss the situation in relation to the proposed traveller site as there has been a complete change around in relation to the first LDP as Sully wasn’t even mentioned in there.”

The leader of the Vale Council has responded by saying that there were a number of public sessions organised as part of the LDP process and that Sully Community Council had been welcome to attend them.

“A large number of residents from Sully did attend both the Penarth and Barry sessions and council officers advised them about the LDP process and how they could make their views known,” he said.

He added that Vale Council Cabinet members did not attend any community or town council public meetings as “if we went to one we would have had to go to all other meetings called outside the official LDP process.

“The council simply couldn’t resource that. Sully councillors could have addressed the Economy and Environment Scrutiny meeting with their questions about the LDP process but chose not to.”

Sully Community Council clerk David Roberts added that the proposed official traveller site in Sully in the LDP had initially been earmarked for allotments for local residents.

“We went down that road and they pulled the carpet from under our feet by wanting to put a traveller site there,” he said.

“We had been talking about allotments for several years and it seemed to be going well as a bit of public space that can be used by the community.”

Cllr Moore dismissed the allegations: “As far as the allotments are concerned I covered that at council and no agreement was ever reached about releasing the land to Sully Community Council. They have not been misled at any time.”

He added that the Cog Road planning application by Taylor Wimpey would be dealt with through the normal planning process.

The council is currently reviewing the responses of the consultation period and suggestions of alternative sites. There will be a further consultation process associated with the alternative site process later this year.