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Travelling People: Caravan Sites

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 29 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what methodology her Department uses to determine whether an unauthorised Travellers' camp is (a) tolerated and (b) not tolerated in circumstances where the camp is on (i) the Travellers' own land and (ii) land not owned by the Travellers and has been established without planning permission; what definition her Department uses of (A) tolerated and (B) not tolerated unauthorised Travellers' camps; and who is responsible for determining whether such camps are tolerated. (251776)

It is for the local authority or landowner to decide whether to tolerate an unauthorised site.

For the purposes of the bi-annual count of Gypsy and Traveller caravans, we ask that local authorities count caravans:

on unauthorised encampments as “tolerated” where the local authority or landowner has decided not to seek the removal of the encampment; and “not tolerated” where the local authority, police or landowner are using, or preparing to use powers to remove the encampment.

on unauthorised developments as “tolerated” where the local authority has decided not to seek their removal (this includes those developments with temporary planning permission); and “not tolerated” where a planning enforcement notice has been served, the results of a planning inquiry are pending, an injunction has been sought or where the compliance period has been extended.

Advice on toleration is set out in DOE circular 18/94 ‘Gypsy Sites Policy and Unauthorised Camping’, as amended, and ‘Guidance on Managing Unauthorised Camping’.