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Travelling People: Caravan Sites

Volume 481: debated on Monday 27 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what requirements there are on individual local authorities to make provision for sites for (a) permanent and (b) transient Travellers. (230264)

The Housing Act (2004) requires local housing authorities to carry out an assessment of the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers residing in or resorting to their area.

Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessments provide information about the need for long-term residential Gypsy and Traveller pitches and short-term transit pitches and temporary stopping places within the assessment area. These assessments are used by regional planning bodies to inform regional spatial strategies, which will set out the number of pitches that must be provided in each local planning authority area. Planning authorities are in turn required to allocate specific land for the required pitches in development plan documents. These pitches may be provided by the local authority, a registered social landlord, or privately.

Local planning authorities need not await the publication of pitch numbers in regional spatial strategies to take steps to meet the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers. We expect authorities where there is clear and pressing need for accommodation (both residential and transit) to take action now.