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Travellers: Caravan Sites

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 10th July 2013.

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Photo of Julian Sturdy Julian Sturdy Conservative, York Outer

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he is taking to ensure Gypsy and Traveller sites are not placed in (a) rural villages and (b) other inappropriate locations.

Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Communities and Local Government

Our “Planning Policy for Traveller Sites” makes absolutely clear that Traveller sites are inappropriate development in the Green Belt and that they should be strictly limited in the open countryside. It also requires that careful attention is given to the scale, location and design of traveller sites in order to ensure all sites are appropriate. Local planning authorities should plan to meet their objectively assessed needs for Travellers in a way which is consistent with planning policy, taking account of the views of their communities in doing so.

On 1 July 2013, Hansard, columns 24-25WS, in a statement to Parliament the Government announced that it would, for a period of six months, consider recovering more Traveller appeals in the Green Belt in order to carefully consider the extent to which Planning Policy for Traveller Sites is meeting its clear intentions. The Government has also brought forward a range of measures to assist local planning authorities in dealing swiftly and effectively with unauthorised traveller sites, including stronger powers to deal with retrospective and vexatious applications and greater freedom to take appropriate enforcement action.

A more detailed list of measures we have taken is outlined in my answer of 25 April 2013, Hansard, columns 1132-33W.

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