Gypsy and Traveller Site Options

Ended on the 29th July 2013
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(2) 3. Who are Gypsies and Travellers?

3.1 The 'Planning Policy for Traveller Sites' document, published alongside the NPPF, defines Gypsies and Travellers as 'Persons of nomadic habit of life whatever their race or origin, including such persons who on grounds of their own or their families or dependants educational or health needs or old age have ceased to travel temporarily or permanently, but excluding members of an organised group of Travelling Show People or circus people travelling together as such'.

3.2 Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers are defined as minority ethnic groups under the Race Relations Act (1976). There are a number of Gypsy and Traveller communities, each with different histories and traditions:

  • Gypsies are Romany ethnic groups who have lived in Britain for around 600 years. Their ancestors originate from northern India.
  • Irish Travellers are a nomadic group with a distinctive way of life who have been part of Irish and British society since ancient times.
  • New Travellers are people of settled background who adopted a travelling lifestyle more recently, although some are now in their third or fourth generation of travelling. They have adopted this way of life for a variety of reasons, such as homelessness, unemployment or environmental issues.

3.3 The Council has produced an information leaflet that gives more details about the Gypsy and Traveller way of life. This can be viewed online or pick up a copy at one of the exhibition venues.

3.4 Travelling Show People are a separate community defined as 'Members of a group organised for the purposes of holding fairs, circuses or shows (whether or not travelling together as such). This includes such persons who on the grounds of their own or their families or dependants more localised pattern of trading, educational or health needs or old age have ceased to travel temporarily or permanently, but excludes Gypsies and Travellers as defined above'.

3.5 The Council is also expected to define the need of this community and provide suitable sites, however the recent GTAA has shown that the provision we already have in this district meets current and future needs so no new pitches are required within the life of the Local Plan.

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