Gypsies, travellers and travelling showmen

pdf icon Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment 2018 [2Mb]

This study assesses the current and future need for Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople accommodation in the Borough of Spelthorne to support the new Local Plan.

ORS have already completed or are currently working on similar studies for many other local authorities in Surrey including Elmbridge, Mole Valley, Reigate & Banstead, Runnymede, Surrey Health, Tandridge and Waverley and a number of London Boroughs including Hillingdon and Hounslow.

We are required to assess the accommodation needs of our travelling community. This is to comply with the Government's 'Planning policy for traveller sites' (DCLG, March 2012) and Section 225 of the 2004 Housing Act.

Current research

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and subsequent legislation requires councils to identify sites to meet the accommodation needs of all communities within their area. This includes the needs of the Gypsy and Traveller community and also Travelling Showpeople.

North Surrey Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment 2006-2016

In the past, the number of pitches for the travelling community that each local authority needed to provide was to be determined at the regional level by Regional Planning Bodies (RPBs) and through the preparation of Regional Spatial Strategies (RSSs). In the south east, this was to be determined by a single issue review of the South East Plan on the provision for Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Show people sites which was being led by the South East England Partnership Board (SEEPB). It was based on the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessments (GTAAs) that had been undertaken by each local authority or group of local authorities. In Surrey, there were three GTAAs produced: West, East and North. Runnymede fell within the area covered by the  North Surrey Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment 2006-2016 (April 2007) .

However, prior to the recommendations of an Independent Panel of Government Inspectors being published, which would have set out how many pitches each local Planning Authority in the south east would need to provide, the Coalition Government came to power and sought to revoke RSSs (ie the South East Plan) including the Partial Review of Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation.

As set out in the Planning Policy for traveller sites, it is now our responsibility to identify the number of travellers' pitches/plots that will be required based on local needs assessments.