Gypsy and Traveller Site Options

Ended on the 29th July 2013
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(5) 5. Policy Background

5.1 Housing Act: The Housing Act, 2004, placed a duty upon local authorities to produce assessments of current and future accommodation need for Gypsies and Travellers on a strategic, regional basis.

5.2 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF): The 2012 NPPF states that the framework "should be read in conjunction with the Government's planning policy for traveller sites". This policy document is 'Planning Policy for Travellers Sites', March 2012. The guidance sets out the government's aims in respect of traveller sites:

  • that local planning authorities should make their own assessment of need for the purposes of planning
  • to ensure that local planning authorities, working collaboratively, develop fair and effective strategies
  • to meet need through the identification of land for sites
  • to encourage local planning authorities to plan for sites over a reasonable timescale
  • that plan-making and decision-taking should protect Green Belt from inappropriate development
  • to promote more private traveller site provision while recognising that there will always be those travellers who cannot provide their own sites
  • that plan-making and decision-taking should aim to reduce the number of unauthorised developments and encampments and make enforcement more effective
  • for local planning authorities to ensure that their Local Plan includes fair, realistic and inclusive policies
  • to increase the number of traveller sites in appropriate locations with planning permission, to address under provision and maintain an appropriate level of supply
  • to reduce tensions between settled and traveller communities in plan-making and planning decisions
  • to enable provision of suitable accommodation from which travellers can access education, health, welfare and employment infrastructure
  • for local planning authorities to have due regard to the protection of local amenity and local environment

5.3 The advice includes a requirement to identify a five year supply of sites and update this annually through monitoring of delivery. Beyond this date, areas of search can be identified for the remainder.

5.4 Under the 'duty to co-operate' outlined in the 2011 Localism Act, there is a requirement to consider the production of joint development plans on a cross-authority basis, especially where a local planning authority has severe planning constraints across its area (as in Warwick District where the green belt places considerable constraint on any development unless in special circumstances).

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