Section: Gypsy & Traveller Sites

Accommodation Needs Must be Addressed

The number of authorised caravan sites for Gypsies and Travellers should be increased as a matter of urgency, according to a new report from the Building and Social Housing Foundation (BSHF).

The report states that under the current policy framework, it will take at least five to ten years before a substantial number of additional sites become available, and describes an urgent need for sites in the meantime.

According to research:

However, alternatives are available. The report provides an example of a local authority that has taken an active decision to provide additional good quality, well-serviced sites, which are self-financing from rents.

The report calls on the Government to:

Diane Diacon, BSHF Director, said:

"We recognise and welcome the steps taken by the Government to increase the provision of sites for Gypsies and Travellers, but the process by which this will happen is slow. While we are waiting for these new sites to become available the existing problems faced by the travelling and settled communities alike will continue to increase.

"Providing sites quickly to serve for the interim period will be good for everyone - Gypsies and Travellers will be able to gain some stability, making it easier to access healthcare services and schooling for their children. For the settled community it will reduce the number of unauthorised sites and the problems these generate. Local authorities will be able to properly service these temporary sites, charging council tax and providing services like refuse collection in the same way as they do for 'bricks and mortar' homes and existing authorised caravan sites."

The report and a four-page summary for local authorities can be downloaded from


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Reporting on November 2007

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