Thursday, July 09, 2015

Dorset Travellers Planning

Under the Department for Communities and Local Government 'Planning Policy for Traveller Sites' of March 2012, local authorities are obliged to 'use a robust evidence base to establish accommodation needs' and to 'set pitch targets for Gypsies and Travellers and plot targets for travelling showpeople which address the likely permanent and transit site accommodation needs of travellers in their area'.

Many local authorities have been avoiding their statutory obligations under these rules since 2012. At my request Dr Simon Ruston of Ruston Planning has produced a report showing that Dorset local authorities will not have produced a Joint Development Plan Document for Traveller sites until the end of 2016, and in the meanwhile only one pitch has been provided against a need assessed at 138 pitches, As Dr Ruston points out in an email to me,

'What the report sets out clearly is the failure of policy on the part of the Dorset councils over the last 5 years in completing work on a cross border Development Plan Document.'

You can view the report here.

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