Gypsy and Traveller Site Options
8. Identification of Potential Sites
8.1 In order to deliver sites as quickly as possible, the Council firstly examined its own land holdings and assessed whether there is any land within its ownership that would meet the criteria within its own "Local Plan: Preferred Options" document and those contained in 'Planning Policy for Traveller Sites'. The majority of these sites proved to be totally unsuitable being urban parks and open spaces surrounded by existing residential development. One site consisted entirely of designated Common Land and was therefore considered unsuitable since an Act of Parliament would be required to alter that status. A further site was hindered by restrictive covenants which denied the Council rights to change the use of the land. The potential to use Council owned land was therefore exhausted.
8.2 Additionally, the Council has been working with Warwickshire County Council to assess the suitability of land within its ownership, located within Warwick District. Sites which have been found to be potentially suitable and meeting the criteria mentioned above and detailed below, have been included in this document for public consultation.
8.3 The Council has also attempted to liaise and work with adjacent councils (both with a view to producing a joint GTAA and in identification of suitable sites) to ascertain whether, due to the restrictive nature of the land designations within Warwick District (80% Green Belt), there is potential to work jointly to provide sites. The Council has not been successful in engaging other local authorities to pursue this approach and so has continued to try and identify land within its own boundaries to serve its own need.
8.4 In order to identify and assess possible sites within private ownership, a 'call for sites' was launched in January 2013 which concluded in February. In spite of publicity and individual letters to agents and developers previously wanting to promote housing sites through the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) process, only two sites were submitted for consideration. These are included in this document for public consultation.
8.5 Additionally, the Council has considered where the most sustainable sites for this purpose would be, given the criteria listed and landowners within these areas have been approached with a view to promoting some of their land for this use. To date, few of these landowners have contacted the Council positively, therefore some of the sites suggested here are not currently available unless the Council uses its powers of compulsory purchase. The Council is willing to consider taking this course of action if pitch numbers cannot be met and landowners remain reticent in the promotion of suitable and sustainable sites.