Page last updated at 12:24 GMT, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 13:24 UK

Gypsy camp set for major revamp

A gypsy camp (generic)
The Withy Beds camp has been an official site since 1982

A Gypsy camp in Powys is in line for a major revamp after a report found part of the site was "vermin infested" and unsafe for children.

The Withy Beds in Welshpool has been an official travellers' site since 1982, but has "numerous inadequacies".

Two options to redevelop the area have been suggested, one costing more than £749,000 and the other over £367,000.

Powys council owns the camp and is applying for grant aid towards the project from the assembly government.

The council said a number of site improvements had been carried out in the past, but they had been "insufficient to address what have become quite serious deficiencies".

A feasibility study and report for the upgrading and redevelopment of the site was completed in February, it has emerged.

'Stagnant pond'

The report said: "There is clearly only one solution to address the numerous inadequacies within the existing site so as to achieve compliance with design guides for Gypsy and travellers' sites issued by both the Welsh Assembly Government and communities and local government and this is redevelopment."

Among the problems identified in the report are "health risks from a stagnant pond", vermin infestation and littered areas.

It also found there was a lack of fire fighting equipment, of a clearly defined children's play area, health risks to users from potentially unsanitary conditions, security risks for occupiers and their possessions and safety risks for young children.

The council will find out later this year if its bid for aid from the Welsh Assembly Government has been successful.

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