New planning laws tackle unauthorised traveller sites
Proposed new measures aimed at travellers who flout planning rules have been announced by Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis.
Currently, when travellers set up unauthorised sites, local authorities can either take early enforcement action – meaning they are required to meet the needs of travellers being moved on – or leave them to continue living on sites without planning permission.
Under today’s proposals, there would be no assumption that councils facing this problem would have to plan to meet that need. Instead, councils would only be required to plan to provide sites for the numbers of travellers they could reasonably expect.
The new measures also propose that the definition of travellers in planning law be changed so that any application for a permanent site by someone who has stopped physically travelling would be considered in the same way as an application from the settled population.
Ministers also want to strengthen the level of protection given to the green belt against inappropriate traveller site development.
Proposals published today include reducing the circumstances in which temporary permission may be granted, ensuring green belt policy applies to traveller sites in the same way it does for most bricks-and-mortar housing.