Background to the Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Site Allocations DPD
National Planning Policy Context
The Government’s Planning Policy for Traveller Sites states that local planning authorities should, in producing their Local Plan “identify and update annually, a supply of specific deliverable sites sufficient to provide five years’ worth of sites against their locally set targets”. Further, Local Plans should “identify a supply of specific, developable sites or broad locations for growth, for years six to ten and, where possible, for years 11-15.”
The Planning Policy for Traveller Sites says that to be deliverable, sites should be:
- Available now;
- Offer a suitable location for development now; and be
- Achievable with a realistic prospect that housing will be delivered on the site within five years and in particular that development on the site is viable.
To be considered developable, sites should be in a suitable location for Traveller site development and there should be a reasonable prospect that the site is available and could be viably developed at the point envisaged (e.g. within years 6 to 10).
The Planning Policy for Traveller Sites also says that “criteria should be set to guide land supply allocations where there is identified need. Where there is no identified need, criteria-based policies should be included to provide a basis for decisions in case applications nevertheless come forward. Criteria based policies should be fair and should facilitate the traditional and nomadic life of travellers while respecting the interests of the settled community.”
Local Planning Policy Context
Policy SWDP17 (Travellers and Travelling Showpeople) in the South Worcestershire Development Plan sets out future pitch and plot requirements for Travellers and Travelling Showpeople in south Worcestershire and sets out criteria to guide land supply allocations and provide a basis for decisions when planning applications come forward.
Policies SWDP45/1 and 45/2 propose up to 20 pitches through the identification of two sites (up to 10 pitches each) on the proposed Worcester South and Worcester West urban extensions.
Policy SWDP17 says that the South Worcestershire Councils will identify additional sites in a Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Site Allocations Development Plan Document.
What Has Been Done So Far
In 2015 the South Worcestershire Councils undertook a “call for sites” which provided an opportunity for interested parties to suggest any sites that they considered might be suitable to be allocated for Traveller or Travelling Showpeople use. This included existing sites which might be suitable for expansion or intensification as well as land for new sites. Proposals were invited for permanent residential sites or transit sites. All of the sites submitted were assessed against specific planning criteria to assess their potential suitability.
Information relating to the “call for sites” consultation can be found at the webpage link below:
Following the assessment of sites, the South Worcestershire Councils consider that seven sites may be suitable to deliver additional Traveller pitches in the next five years. These include existing Travellers sites at Hillbee Farm, Upton-upon-Severn; The Orchard, Knowle Hill, Badsey; Blossom Hill, Village Street, Aldington; The Laurels, Kemerton Rd, Bredon; and two locations in Cropthorne, at Seven Acres, Main Road and Evergreen Bank, Main Road. A new site is proposed at Crossway Green, near Stourport, where temporary planning permission is already in place for a Travellers’ site at Shorthill Caravan Park.
To meet the longer term need for pitches, the Development Plan Document includes two possible sites within the Worcester “urban extensions”, due to be built on the southern edge of the city at Broomhall and Norton Barracks and at Temple Laugherne on the western edge of Worcester.
Accordingly, a Draft Preferred Options Consultation (2016) will run from 14th March – 25th April 2016 (Regulation 18).
The timetable for the preparation of the Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Site Allocations Development Plan Document is outlined in each of the South Worcestershire Councils Local Development Schemes (LDSs), published in September 2015.
The proposed timetable for the development of the Traveller & Travelling Showpeople Site Allocations DPD is summarised in the Table below.
(Regulation 18) – 6 weeks
|14th March – 25th April 2016|
Precise dates of examination hearing sessions will be determined by the Inspector
|Receipt of Inspector’s Report