Gypsy and Traveller Site Options

Ended on the 29th July 2013
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(8) 2. Background

2.1 No specific accommodation needs for these groups had been identified in this district prior to the publication of the "Gypsy and Travellers Accommodation Assessment for the South Housing Market Area of the West Midlands" in 2008. This identified a requirement for 11 permanent and 15 transit pitches for the Gypsy and Traveller community. Whilst the assessment also included Travelling Show People, it did not identify a specific need within the district for this group.

2.2 Officers began work on identifying a site initially for transit use on land within its ownership, as it was considered that this would be the easiest to deliver in the short term. However, this proved not to be the case as the Council-owned land was inappropriately located and largely comprises of urban parks and green spaces, which are not suitable for the use of Gypsies and Travellers for either a transit or permanent site.

2.3 In the meantime, the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) review took place and the distribution of pitches across the region was reassessed. This resulted in an assessed requirement for 23 permanent pitches in the district.

2.4 To ensure that its future evidence base was robust and reliable, the Council commissioned a new Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA) for Warwick District in 2012, undertaken by Salford University, a leading provider in this field. The report was published in November 2012 and shows a need for 31 permanent pitches to be provided over the life of the Local Plan (15 years), 25 within the first five years and a further 6-8 transit pitches over the Plan period.

2.5 Warwick District Council has been working in collaboration with Warwickshire County Council to identify potential sites to meet this need within the Local Plan. Enquiries have been made of local land agents, landowners who have submitted sites to be considered for other types of housing, public bodies, statutory undertakers and Warwickshire County Council to identify any potentially available land that meets the criteria set out for site suitability.

2.6 Additionally, 'areas of search' have been selected by officers within which it is believed that there could be potential for a Gypsy and Traveller site, outside the Green Belt, close to the road network and within easy reach of local facilities (schools and doctors etc). The result of the Council's research is contained within this document to allow for public consultation and comment.

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