Planning magazine reports that the latest planning policy for traveller sites, published last year, requires authorities to identify a supply of specific deliverable sites sufficient to meet their locally-set targets for five years. However, new research published by advocacy group Friends, Families and Travellers states that most of the local planning authorities in the South East of England are falling short on this measure.
Catriona Riddell, strategic planning specialist for the Planning Officers Society, said that most local planning authorities are not revising their assessments of need following the policy change, adding: "Whether or not those concerned are currently travelling, ethnically they are still Gypsies and Travellers, and under the Equalities Act 2010 their cultural preference not to live in bricks-and-mortar accommodation has to be catered for."
Riddell said: "Councils have not downed tools. Some councillors mistakenly took government announcements to mean that they don't need to do this anymore. Most now realise that if they don't address the issue, it will cost them hundreds of thousands of pounds in enforcement and appeals."