Negotiating the delivery of gypsy and traveller sites through local planning

Everyone has a right to a decent home, and not everyone’s housing needs are the same. The provision of pitches for Gypsies and Travellers is just another form of housing that is needed by a specific part of the community.

The National Planning Policy Framework requires councils to assess the needs of different groups in the community and reflect these in planning policies. This forms part of holistic and inclusive approach towards achieving communities that are balanced and which are mixed.

This report focuses on the challenges facing councils when seeking to secure the delivery of pitches together with other forms of housing in plan-led developments within or on the edge of settlements.

The challenge

The report seeks to uncover why viability is often cited, by some, as a reason why pitches cannot be provided in this way, but has found no substantive evidence to support this assertion.

The solution

It is evident that where the planning process can provide for greater clarity in how development will look this may help de-risk how that development is financed and how lenders may choose to provide mortgages.

The impact (including cost savings/income generated if applicable)

It is hoped that by drawing attention to the viability debate, this can help bring about a better informed and improved dialogue going forward for planning policy makers and decision takers, sectors across the development industry and by lending bodies and other financial institutions.

How is the new approach being sustained?

This report is intended to help frame the discussions around how the housing needs of Gypsies and Travellers can be met as part of mixed housing schemes.

Lessons learned

(see above, for the solution)

Contact: Tristan Peat, Forward Planning Team Leader, Mid Devon District Council, Phoenix House, Phoenix Lane, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 6PP

Links to relevant documents:

Publication awaiting approval from the LGA