Planning for traveller sites: consultation

Document type
Discussion paper
Corporate author(s)
Great Britain. Dept. for Communities and Local Government
Dept. for Communities and Local Government
Date of publication
1 April 2011
Community Development and Regeneration, Housing and Homelessness
Social welfare
Material type

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On 29 August 2010, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government announced the Government’s intention to withdraw the existing traveller planning circulars - Circular 01/2006: Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Caravan Sites and Circular 04/2007: Planning for Travelling Showpeople. The Government intends to replace them with a new, short, light-touch, single Planning Policy Statement for traveller sites. This is part of a broader set of policy announcements to provide a fair deal for traveller communities and settled communities. There is a perception among many that currently policy treats traveller sites more favourably than it does other forms of housing and that it is easier for one group of people to gain planning permission particularly on sensitive Green Belt land. This has led people to believe that the system is unfair and this has led to tension and undermined community cohesion.

The Government believes that local planning authorities are best placed to know the needs of their communities, not unelected regional bodies, and it will put planning for traveller sites back in their hands. It will give local planning authorities the freedom and responsibility to determine the right level of traveller site provision in their area in consultation with local communities, while ensuring fairness in the planning system. The new Planning Policy Statement on traveller sites has been designed in this context and follows the simplifying and streamlining principles of the proposed National Planning Policy Framework.

The Government wishes to seek views on the details of their new policy. The Government has had regard to equalities issues and also the likely costs and benefits of its proposed policy as it has designed its new policy. In order to consult widely on these issues, alongside this policy the Government is also publishing a consultation stage impact assessment and equality impact assessment, and welcomes views on the likely equality and cost and benefit impacts of the new policy. Following analysis of responses received to this consultation, the assessments will be finalised and published alongside the summary of responses. The consultation period ran from 13 April to 6 July 2011. This document includes the draft Planning Policy Statement and the consultation questionnaire.

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