Three clauses in the recent Local Authorities Bill are predicted to impact traveller planning concerns. The clauses indicate that Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) will no longer be required to submit their local development schemes to the Secretary of State, send their annual reports to the Secretary of State or have to implement inspectors’ recommendations.
With regards to travelling sites, this will mean that the future of permanent and temporary travellers’ sites lies in the hands of local authorities and no longer at the desk of a Westminster politician. Some argue this leaves gypsy communities open to discrimination by councils which are strapped for cash and pressured by their constituents. It has, for example, been reported in Basildon that over 85% of locals support the Council’s actions.
Some argue that this devolution of power, coupled with a withdrawal of £30million of funding for the provision and development of traveller sites in the last budget, could spell difficult times for the gypsy population.
To read more about the Dale Farm case, click here .