Nearly 1000 extra places required for Gypsy-Traveller community

Politics / Tue 22nd Jul 2014 at 12:48pm

A REPORT forecasting how many gypsy and traveller pitches will be required in Essex up to 2033 is published today (July 22nd).

The 15 local authorities in Essex, working through the Essex Planning Officers Association, have joined together to produce the Gypsy and Traveller and Accommodation Assessment report (GTAA).

Cllr John Jowers, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Libraries, Communities and Planning, said: “By planning carefully for the county’s gypsy and traveller community, it is hoped that we will avoid some of the problems with illegal encampments that so frustrate residents.

“This planning document is an excellent example of authorities working together and delivering a high quality piece of work which they would have been unable to complete independently.”

The report predicts that an extra 786 pitches for the gypsy and traveller community will be required by 2033, mainly in the south of the county.

A further 183 pitches will be required for the travelling show people community.

The location of the new pitches and how they are to be provided will be down to the individual local authority through the normal Local Plan process.

From now until 2033 it is predicted that the gypsy and traveller population will grow by two per cent a year. It is currently estimated to be about 2,630 in the areas included in the report.

By law, all local authorities must assess the need for gypsy and traveller accommodation and ensure there are enough sites.

Essex Planning Association has spent 18 months producing this report, using a specialist gypsy and traveller research organisation.

They spoke to the travelling community, town and parish councils and district councils in order to understand the wider picture of the issue within Essex.

The report can be read at http://www.uttlesford.gov.uk/EssexPlanningOfficersAssociation

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