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Travelling People: Caravan Sites

Volume 506: debated on Wednesday 3 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many unauthorised Traveller pitches there were in each local authority in England in (a) 2000 and (b) the latest period for which figures are available. (319124)

The bi-annual count of Gypsy and Traveller caravans collects data on the number of caravans on unauthorised sites in England. It does not provide data on the number of pitches on unauthorised sites. Information on the number of caravans on unauthorised sites by local authority area in 2000 and 2009. I have arranged for a copy to be placed in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many vacant plots there are on local authority Gypsy sites. (319167)

The count of Gypsy and Traveller caravans carried out by local authorities on 16 July 2009 shows there were 250 vacant residential pitches and 76 vacant transit pitches on local authority sites in England.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to his Department's Progress Report on Gypsy and Traveller Policy of July 2009, what the evidential basis is for the analysis for Planning Inspectorate decisions referred to on page 12 of the Progress Report; if he will place in the Library a copy of the methodology and dataset for the analysis referred to on page 12 of that report; and if he will update that analysis using the latest data. (319231)

The evidential basis for the analysis of Planning Inspectorate decisions referred to on page 12 of the Progress Report on Gypsy and Traveller Policy of July 2009 is a review of all 81 appeal decisions made under section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2009. The Annual Report to Parliament refers to 178 appeals; this is a typographical error. This does not impact on the figure of 27 per cent. of appeals relating to Gypsy and Traveller developments receiving permission. I have arranged for a copy of the dataset to be placed in the House Library.

It is our intention to provide an update to this in our 2010 report to Parliament.