The requirement to assess the accommodation needs for travelling communities is set out in the Housing Act 2004. The Act requires local housing authorities to include travellers in their accommodation assessments and to take a strategic approach, including drawing up a strategy demonstrating how the accommodation needs of travellers will be met.
The Department for Communities and Local Government’s Planning Policy for Traveller Sites sets out the Government’s aims in respect of traveller sites. They include:
- 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; and
- For local planning authorities to have due regard to the protection of local amenity and local environment.
Last Updated on Wednesday, September 9, 2020