Consultation Document

8 Gypsy and Traveller Needs Assessment Update: Policy HG7 Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople

Proposed Main Modification PMM8: Policy HG7 now provides revised pitch (and plots for travelling show people) requirements covering the period to 2028 derived from Assessment Update

8.1 This Proposed Main Modification arises from the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment Update 2013.

Justification for Change:

8.2 Paragraph 9.46 of the Proposed Submission South Somerset Local Plan 2006 – 2028 highlights that as the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (2011) only identifies need up until 2020 it will have to be updated to establish the level of need beyond that date. The Inspector’s original Examination question asked why pitch/plot targets were not in the emerging Policy and this point was explained on the basis that the figure was not available and that an update to get the figure to the end of the plan period had been commissioned. The 2013 Update has now been completed and it is necessary to amend the emerging Local Plan to reflect this specific new evidence. Given that this will involve the inclusion of pitch and plot targets in an amended Policy HG7 it is considered that this constitutes a Proposed Main Modification to the Plan.

Issue Summary:

8.3 Planning policy for traveller sites (CLG, 2013) expects local planning authorities (LPAs) to set pitch targets for Gypsies and Travellers and plot targets for Travelling Showpeople. LPAs are expected to identify and update annually, a supply of specific deliverable sites to provide 5 years’ worth of sites against those locally set targets.

8.4 The Council has sought to update its evidence base to identify the need up until the end of the plan period so that it is able to identify pitch and plot targets in Policy HG7.

Implications for Policy and Supporting Text:

8.5 Policy HG7: Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople and its supporting text should be amended to reflect the findings of the GTAA Update (2013).

8.6 The Proposed Main Modification is presented in the table below (any new text is underlined and deleted text is shown as crossed through).

Proposed Main Modification
The accommodation needs of gypsies and travellers and travelling showpeople should be considered along with the housing needs of the whole community. Government guidance makes it clear that local authorities should consider the needs of the travelling community through the local plan process. A countywide assessment of the need for Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople accommodation was has been undertaken in 2010 (final edit published in January 2011) which identifies need up until 2020. This has been further supplemented by the Gypsy and Traveller Needs Assessment Update, Somerset Local Planning Authorities (2013) which identifies need in Somerset up until 2032.
The 2011 assessment identified a need for 10 residential pitches in South Somerset by 2015; this need has been met and exceed by 2 pitches. This identifies that in South Somerset there is a need for 18 residential pitches between 2010 and 2020, 10 between 2010 and 2015 and 8 between 2015 and 2020. As well as the need for residential pitches there is also a need to provide transit capacity for 10 caravans within South Somerset by 2015 and for 4 additional Showmen's yards across Somerset. The Somerset Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment will need to be updated in order to establish need post 2020.
Issue 4
GTAA Update 2013 identifies need up until the end of the plan period and beyond.
Policy HG7
Policy HG7: Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople
The accommodation needs of Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople will be met by ensuring that they are accommodated in sustainable locations where essential services are available.
Site allocations will be made to accommodate at least:
23 Residential Pitches (from 2013 onwards)
10 Transit Pitches
6 Travelling Showpeople plots
The following criteria ………….
Issue 4
Insertion of targets to reflect need identified in GTAA Update 2013.
Much of As explained in paragraph 9.46 the identified need for residential pitches in South Somerset to 2015 has already been exceeded met through implemented private planning applications consents. Any planning applications coming forward for residential pitches before the end of 2015 will be considered against the criteria set out within Policy HG7; after that time the policy target will apply. The criteria within Policy HG7 will guide the allocations in the forthcoming In order to address outstanding need and to provide a policy context for a Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople site allocation Development Plan Document (DPD). a development management policy will be required to address site identification and assessment should planning applications not come forward to meet established need.
Amended text to reflect proposed Main Modification to Policy HG7.