Traveller Sites Allocations Document

The Traveller Sites Allocations Document represents a positive, plan-led approach to meeting the existing and future need for permanent Gypsy and Traveller accommodation in Mid Sussex for the period to 2031; and to meet the requirements of the Government's Planning Policy for Traveller Sites.

Background

Mid Sussex District Council is committed to developing sustainable communities that are safe, healthy and inclusive and to provide the amount and type of housing that meets the needs of all sectors of the community, including Gypsies and Travellers.

Providing sufficient, suitable permanent accommodation for the district’s Gypsy and Traveller community will not only meet identified needs, but also contribute towards a better quality of life, promoting the opportunity for better integration and co-existence with the settled community and help to reduce unauthorised encampments that can cause distress to both of these communities and are costly in terms of enforcement action, clean-up costs and preventative measures.

Planning for future needs

The Government’s Planning Policy for Traveller Sites requires local planning authorities to establish needs; and to identify a sufficient supply of sites to meet this need, including providing five years’ worth of supply against a locally set target. A lack of a five year supply of sites would be a significant material consideration when deciding future planning applications for Gypsy and Traveller sites, and would limit the Council’s ability to manage the location of new sites.

Frequently Asked Questions

The District Council has produced a list of Frequently Asked Questions to explain why and how it is undertaking this work.

Traveller Sites Allocation Document Frequently Asked Questions

Identifying Need

The Mid Sussex Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment identifies the required site provision for Gypsies and Travellers within Mid Sussex (outside of the South Downs National Park) for the period up to 2031.  The Assessment identifies the need to accommodate 23 households for settled Gypsies and Travellers for the period up to 2031 and does not identify a need to provide any sites for Travelling Showpeople. The study has been published in three parts, with the 2016 update superseding the previous studies in terms of the identified requirement.

Public Consultation

Public consultation was held on the Traveller Sites Allocations Development Plan Document – Consultation Draft and its accompanying documents: August - September 2014. A further period of public consultation is planned (see Next Steps below).

Details of how the public is consulted are set out in the Community Involvement Plan, written in accordance with the Council's Statement of Community Involvement.

Traveller Sites Allocations Development Plan Document - Consultation Draft

The Traveller Sites Allocations Document contains two draft policies. The first proposes to safeguard existing authorised Traveller sites with permanent planning permissions to ensure that identified needs are not made worse by the loss of these sites to alternative uses, without a suitable replacement being made. The second draft policy proposes a number of potential locations that could be allocated as permanent Gypsy and Traveller sites within the district.

Traveller Sites Allocations Development Plan Document - Consultation Draft (August 2014)

Sustainability Appraisal

A Sustainability Appraisal has been undertaken for the Traveller Sites Allocations Document in order to ensure that the plan being prepared is the most sustainable given all realistic alternatives.

Consultation Draft Sustainability Appraisal - Main Report (August 2014)

Consultation Draft Sustainability Appraisal - Non-Technical Summary (August 2014)

Sustainability Appraisal - Scoping Report (October 2013) was published for consultation October - November 2013. The Scoping Report is the first stage in the Sustainability Appraisal process.

Habitats Regulations Assessment

A Habitats Regulations Assessment Screening Report (August 2014) has been undertaken for the Traveller Sites Allocations Development Plan Document to assess any likely significant effects on the Ashdown Forest Special Protection Area (SPA) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC) as a result of recreational disturbance and atmospheric pollution.

Site Search

A Draft Mid Sussex Traveller Sites Study (August 2014) has been undertaken to look at all reasonable options for development as permanent Gypsy and Traveller accommodation. The process included a ‘call for sites’ that included a request to all the district’s Town and Parish Councils to submit sites within their areas that might be suitable.

Next steps

The Traveller Sites Allocations Document will be reviewed in light of the responses made to the public consultation, so it does not represent final Council policy. The final decision on the policies and the sites that will be proposed for allocation when the document is submitted to the Secretary of State will be made by elected Councillors, based on representations made and further evidence collected.

The process will also include the assessment of any reasonable alternative sites submitted during public consultation and any further potential sites identified since the publication of the Draft Traveller Sites Study. Before any site is allocated, the document is also required to be formally assessed at an independent public examination.

Timetable

The timetable for progressing the Traveller Sites Allocation Development Plan Document is available to view in the Mid Sussex Local Development Scheme.