Police called in as council officers descend on holiday village

No fewer than twenty council officers descended on Aberystwyth Holiday Village in Trefechan on Thursday to interview, document, measure and generally get to the bottom of what exactly has been going on there in the past couple of decades.

One person not able to accompany them was the man who first blew the whistle on numerous breaches of law on the site after being approached by residents for help. When Plaid Cymru councillor Aled Davies walked onto the site on Thursday, holding a letter of invitation from residents, he was told by the owner he was banned. The police were called and insisted that Aled leave in the interests of public order.

This denial of the democratic right of residents to invite their local councillor into their own homes is unlikely to get the site owner off the hook. It’s believed that only 24 of the 68 residential caravans there have planning permission and that the way the site is organised is spectacularly in breach of licensing laws. Aled first began pursuing the issues when he was approached as part of his successful County Council by-election campaign in 2008.

If, once the officers have completed their investigations, it’s established that enforcement action is warranted the Council will then have to decide what degree of enforcement is prudent in the circumstances, given that many people on the site are long-term residents who have unwittingly been led into their situation.

Substantial re-organisation of the site and legal regularisation will take time and discussions with council officers indicate they will be sympathetic to the position of residents, focussing any sanctions on the owner. Meanwhile Aled Davies, whose new blog is here, will continue doing his job of representing residents by meeting them away from the site.