Local authorities urged to identify land for Gypsy and Traveller sites

    Local authorities were yesterday told to identify more and
    appropriate land for authorised sites for Gypsies and Travellers,
    writes Clare Jerrom.

    The move came as Temporary Stop Notice regulations came into
    force to allow councils to act immediately to stop unauthorised
    sites being developed in problem locations.

    Housing minister Yvette Cooper said: “We need more
    appropriate sites for Gypsies and Travellers alongside swifter
    enforcement on inappropriate sites. The two things have to go hand
    in hand.”

    “That is why we have introduced new powers from today for
    swift enforcement alongside new obligations in the planning system
    to identify appropriate locations for more sites where
    needed,” she added.

    Under the 2004 Housing Act and new draft planning guidance,
    local authorities will have to assess the level of need for sites
    in their areas and will be required to identify appropriate land
    where needed.

    Funding will be provided through the Regional Housing Board for
    local authorities and Housing Associations to establish new
    sites.

    A new Gypsy and Traveller Unit will also be set up in the Office
    of the Deputy Prime Minister to support local authorities in
    meeting their responsibilities.

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