Gypsy and Traveller accommodation
We have been preparing a draft Development Plan Document (DPD) to allocate specific sites in the borough for Gypsies and Travellers, and for Travelling Showpeople. The draft DPD was also to include a policy to assess planning applications for traveller sites, or to use in traveller-related appeals or enforcement cases.
We consulted on the draft 'Provision for Traveller Sites DPD' in December 2015/January 2016. The representations received resulted in two of the three preferred sites no longer being considered deliverable. The likelihood of a site allocations document that fell far short of meeting accommodation needs being found sound at examination was considered low. Consequently, Cabinet made the decision in June 2016 to suspend work on the DPD. The issue of providing sites for traveller accommodation will instead be addressed in the forthcoming review of the Local Plan.
Why do we need sites?
We are required by national planning policy to ensure that there are enough sites available in West Lancashire to meet the needs of the travelling community. This includes Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople.
We realise that the issue of sites for the travelling community can be emotive and controversial. However, we are required to comply with the law and find suitable sites to meet the borough's needs.
How many sites do we need?
We took part in a joint study with the five Merseyside councils to assess how many sites are needed for the travelling community. We need:
- 14 permanent pitches by 2018, rising to 22 by 2033
- A transit site for 4 pitches
- A Travelling Showpeople site with at least one residential plot