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Traveller Communities: Planning Policy

Volume 684: debated on Monday 16 November 2020

The Government’s response to the consultation on powers for dealing with unauthorised development and encampments proposed measures related to Traveller site provision and strengthening planning enforcement powers. I can confirm to my hon. Friend that further changes to planning policy will be considered as part of our reforms to the wider planning system set out in our White Paper, “Planning for the Future”.

In parts of the country, we have the double disaster of settled residents moving away in fear and Traveller children having the worst outcomes of any group of children. Can the Minister reassure me that the review that his Department is undertaking will put an end to the unacceptable situation in which both those groups find themselves

My hon. Friend has campaigned long and hard on these issues, as have several others in the House. He will know that the Government’s overarching aim is to ensure fair and equal treatment for Travellers and their children, but we must not be blind to the rights of the settled community as well. The distress that some local communities face due to antisocial behaviour is unacceptable. Local authorities have a wide range of powers at their disposal, including the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, but I can confirm to him that I will happily consider his and other proposals as we work through the contributions to the White Paper consultation, to ensure that our planning reform also encapsulates the concerns he raises.