In a quite bizarre turn of events Government has produced planning policy for Traveller Sites.

Bizarre? Well, bizarre, because this new policy guidance was published only two days before the publication of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The NPPF, as you will not need reminding, was being heralded as 50 pages of national policy to replace the existing 2,000 or policy and guidance. So it does feel bizarre to have an 8 page supplement to th NPPF that will be published on the 27th of March 2012.

But what of the new policy on Traveller Sites?

Overall, this brings together previous guidance in to one simpler document. The main features of this being:

  • that local planning authorities should make their own assessment of need for the purposes of planning;
  • to ensure that local planning authorities, working collaboratively, develop fair and effective strategies to meet need through the identification of land for sites;
  • to encourage local planning authorities to plan for sites over a reasonable timescale;
  • that plan-making and decision-taking should protect the Green Belt from inappropriate development;
  • to promote more private traveller site provision while recognising that there will always be those travellers who cannot provide their own sites;
  • that plan-making and decision-taking should aim to reduce the number of unauthorised developments and encampments and make enforcement more effective;
  • for local planning authorities to ensure their local plan includes fair, realistic and inclusive policies;
  • to increase the number of traveller sites in appropriate locations with planning permission, to address under-provision and maintain an appropriate level of supply;
  • to reduce tensions between settled and traveller communities in plan-making and planning decisions;
  • to enable provision of suitable accommodation from which travellers can access education, health, welfare and employment infrastructure; and
  • for local planning authorities to have due regard to the protection of local amenities and the local environmental.

The policy will take effect with publication of the NPPF on the 27th of March 2012.

Copies of the policy can be accessed from the DCLG web site.

Will this policy change affect you? If it does and you need expert advice call Kirkwells on 01282 872 570 or email

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