Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Provision

In August 2015, the Government updated Planning Policy for Traveller Sites (PPTS), which was originally published alongside the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in March 2012. The update retains the bulk of the 2012 guidance but makes a significant amendment to the definition of gypsies and travellers, namely that those who have permanently ceased to travel no longer fall within that definition. It also includes a requirement for a five year supply of specific deliverable Gypsy and Traveller sites. The council has taken the PPTS requirements into account in the formulation of it’s strategy for meeting identified pitch provision requirements, and will continue to do so when making decisions on relevant planning applications.

Background Information

Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment 2012 (GTAA)

The GTAA 2012 was produced in-house by the council and reflected the guidance contained within PPTS as it then stood. The GTAA set out the council’s pitch provision requirements for the 5-year period encompassing 2012–2017. The background to the production of the GTAA 2012 are set out in the Committee Report that went to the Community Wellbeing OSCOM on June 2012, which can be viewed below. The GTAA 2012 identified a need for 7 pitches and 2 temporary stopping places to be provided within the borough by 2017.

Gypsy and Traveller Needs Assessment (GTNA) 2015

The council commissioned an updated GTNA in 2015 from specialist consultants Opinion Research Services (ORS) in order to underpin the Examination in Public of the Basingstoke and Deane Local Plan 2011–2029. This identified a need for 16 additional pitches in the borough over the plan period, and also recommended that the council consider providing 3 emergency stopping places. The GTNA was published just before the changes made to PPTS in 2015, and will need to be updated in light of the amendments.

Gypsy and Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Accommodation Assessment (GTAA) 2017

In response to the amendments made to PPTS 2015, the council commissioned specialist consultants Opinion Research Services (ORS) to update the 2015 GTNA. As per the government guidance, the new need assessment sets out the requirements up until 2032. As a result of the new definition of gypsies and travellers the revised GTAA splits the need requirement into 3 categories:

  • Travellers who meet the new definition
  • Unknowns - these are individuals who may meet the PPTS definition, but this has not been clearly established and therefore this effectively represents an intermediate category.
  • Travellers not meeting the new definition.

These different categories produce the following need requirements, as outlined below.

  • Travellers who meet the new definition: 8 pitches required (5 in the next 5 years). These pitches will be met in accordance with the council’s strategy as set out in policy CN5 of the ALP.
  • Unknowns: Potential for up to 9 pitches, though this will need to be proven by applicants on a case by case basis. This need should be met in a flexible manner utilising the criteria set out in policy CN5.
  • Travellers not meeting the new definition: this category would give rise to a need for 3 pitches up to 2032, but given that these travellers do not meet the definition, they do not result in a specific need for gypsy pitches.

There is no requirement for additional Travelling Showpeople accommodation.

The total need calculation is 9 pitches over the Local Plan period, based on the 8 pitches derived from those travellers which meet the definition, and 1 from the unknown category (based on the ORS methodology, as set out in the report).

As per paragraph 5.41 in the ALP, this new figure updates the number of pitches set out in policy CN5.

Basingstoke and Deane Local Plan 2011 to 2029

Policy CN5 in the adopted Local Plan (ALP) sets out how the council will meet its gypsy and traveller accommodation needs over the plan period. This will be through the provision of plots and/or pitches on the council’s 4 largest housing allocation sites (SS3.9 – East of Basingstoke, SS3.10 – Manydown, SS3.11 – Basingstoke Golf Course, SS3.12 – Hounsome Fields). The policy does allow for pitches to potentially be provided on other sites, subject to meeting the detailed criteria set out in the policy, and subject to satisfying all other relevant policies within the ALP and national level planning policy (PPTS and NPPF).

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