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Travelling People

Volume 486: debated on Wednesday 14 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of unauthorised Traveller sites in England. (246370)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in respect of which areas reviews of Green Belt and the provision of Traveller sites are recommended in draft regional spatial strategies. (246371)

There are currently four draft regional spatial strategies (RSS) undergoing revisions.

East Midlands:

The Government are currently considering representations made on the Proposed Changes and are working towards the final issue of the RSS in 2009.

Review of Green Belts recommended

The draft RSS recommends a review of the most sustainable locations for growth within the Nottingham Core Housing Market Area over the next 25 years, which may include considering locations within the Green Belt.

This review needs to be done as part of the evidence base underpinning the next RSS review.

Provision of traveller pitches recommended

The Draft East Midlands RSS sets out the number of traveller pitches required in the region and it is up to local authorities to identify specific locations in local plans.

West Midlands Phase 2 and Phase 3:

The West Midlands is taking a phased approach to the revision of its RSS.

Consultation on Phase 2 is completed and it will be submitted to an Examination in Public in Spring 2009.

Review of Green Belts recommended

The draft Phase 2 West Midlands regional spatial strategy identifies the need for review of Green Belt round Coventry and Redditch.

Provision of traveller pitches recommended

The provision of traveller pitches will be addressed in Phase 3 of the RSS review. The West Midlands Regional Assembly are currently developing option papers for Phase 3 and have yet to commence consultation.

South East:

The Government are currently considering representations made on the Proposed Changes and are working towards the final issue of the RSS in 2009.

Review of Green Belts recommended

The Government’s Proposed Changes included proposals for selective Green Belt review at Oxford and Guildford, and possibly south of Woking, plus small scale reviews at Chertesy and Redhill/Reigate.

Provision of traveller pitches recommended

The Draft South East RSS sets out the number of traveller pitches required across the region, however it is up to the local authorities to identify the specific location of traveller sites in local plans.

South West:

The Government are currently considering representations made on the Proposed Changes and are working towards the final issue of the RSS in 2009.

Review of Green Belts recommended

The Proposed Changes included proposals to revise the Bristol and Bath, Gloucester and Cheltenham and South East Dorset Green Belts.

Provision of traveller pitches recommended

The Draft South West RSS sets out the number of traveller pitches for each local authority area, however it is up to the local authorities to identify the specific location of traveller sites in local plans.

Four RSSs have already been issued by the Secretary of State and the West Midlands (Phase 1) RSS:

15 January 2008—West Midlands (Phase 1) Black Country sub-regional plan

12 May 2008—East of England

21 May 2008—Yorkshire and Humber

15 July 2008—North East

30 September 2008—North West