Publication of report on Gypsy and Traveller sites in the East of England
Posted on December 18, 2008
The report by the independent panel conducting the Examination in Public into the Review on Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation in the East of England was published today.
The Report sets out the conclusions and recommendations of the Panel who conducted the Examination in Public into the Draft Policy prepared by the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA).
The draft policy was pulled together following a rigorous consultation process where views from a wide range of groups were heard. The proposals follow two years of research and consultation with local authorities, businesses, voluntary organisations, the public and Gypsy and Traveller communities.
The report, including the Panel's recommendations, will now be considered by the Government, who will then publish the Secretary of States decisions on the Panels recommendations, along with any Proposed Changes to the draft policy. The policy is a vital part of the longer term planning process for homes within the East of England, and part of the Government's commitment to provide sufficient authorised sites for Gypsies and Travellers to stop the cycle of evictions from unauthorised sites that is costly to the taxpayer and impacts on the quality of life for the travelling community and the wider public. The proposed changes will undergo a further 12 week consultation to allow for views to be heard before the finalised plan is published by Summer 2009.
Key recommendations of the Panel include:
- An increase in regional pitch provision from 1,187 to 1,237 over the next three years to provide adequate space for traveller families and to ease pressure caused by current shortages.
- The final policy should include provision for transit sites and travelling showpeople.
Local authorities are responsible for planning authorised pitches for the Gypsy and Traveller communities as well as the housing needs of the settled population. The additional pitches contribute to housing provision in the East of England as a whole, reflecting the fact that the lack of decent, affordable homes is a key issue for settled communities and Gypsies and Travellers alike.
The East of England Plan provides a clear, agreed, long-term vision for how the region will provide jobs and homes for its residents until 2021 and beyond. It is the framework for putting into place the Government's growth agenda within the region and ensuring that growth is sustainable. The adequate provision of homes and affordable housing to accommodate the needs of different communities is a vital element of the Plan.
Following the consultation an Examination in Public was held in October 2008.
Source: Government Office for the East of England
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