I have received an update on changes to planning policy in regard to Travellers from Greg Clark and Brandon Lewis:
We would like to draw your attention to recent changes in planning policy, which will help restore fairness to the system and ensure all communities are treated equally. They mean:
• Special planning rules designed to support England’s travelling community will only apply to those who lead a genuine travelling lifestyle. Anyone from the travelling community who no longer travels will have their planning application considered in the same way as any other member of the settled population.
• Greater protection for the Green Belt from unauthorised development. Applications for new developments on Green Belt land should not be approved, unless in very special circumstances. This remains true even where councils do not have an up-to-date supply of caravan sites, and extends to sites including Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks. Councils must now place very strict limits on the numbers of new traveller site developments in open countryside.
• Reducing burdens on those who play by the planning rules. Where previously councils were required to plan for the increased housing need created by evicting large-scale unauthorised sites such as Dale Farm, this requirement has now been removed.
This is on top of the range of powers that councils and the police already have to deal with unauthorised development.
The new Planning Policy can be found at:
Rt Hon Greg Clark MP Brandon Lewis MP