Fringe Box



New Policy over Traveller Sites Welcomed by Council

Published on: 26 Apr, 2012
Updated on: 28 Apr, 2012

Guildford Borough Council offices at Millmead.

Providing suitable sites for gypsies and travellers may be made easier for Guildford Borough Council with the introduction of a new national planning policy.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and new planning policy for traveller sites were recently published by the Government.

Guildford Borough Council has been looking carefully at these documents to see how they will affect proposals for gypsy and traveller accommodation.

Cllr Jenny Wicks, Lead Councillor for Planning and Development, said: “The new national policy seems to have led to some confusion.

“It does not rule out traveller sites in the green belt entirely. Instead it ensures tight controls are in place. It says that traveller sites (temporary or permanent) in the green belt are inappropriate development and are to be approved only in very special circumstances.”

Councillor Jenny Wicks.

The new policy requires Guildford Borough Council to demonstrate an up-to-date five-year supply of deliverable traveller sites in the borough to meet the need for housing for gypsies and travellers supported by technical evidence. It emphasises the need to provide authorised sites to reduce roadside encampments and other unauthorised developments.

Cllr Wicks added: “We continue to look at the potential for additional pitches for gypsy and traveller families on Guildford Borough Council-owned land and on land owned by Surrey County Council. We hope that this scoping work will help us to deliver additional pitches.

“We need to balance the need to protect the local environment including our green belt land with our legal duty to provide sites for the gypsy and traveller community.”

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