The Government recently published the Housing and Planning Bill which contains measures that will remove the duty on local authorities to assess the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers for the purposes of planning for Traveller sites. The move will also get rid of the only piece of legislation that recognises Gypsies’ and Travellers’ cultural tradition of nomadism under section 225 and 226 of the 2004 Housing Act.
The impact of these changes could be potentially disastrous for Gypsies and Travellers across England. Removing the duty to assess Travellers’ accommodation needs poses the significant danger of increasing the already chronic shortage of Traveller sites nationwide, which in turn could increase the number of unauthorised sites.
You can write to your MP to express your concerns about these planned changes and encourage him/her to oppose the measures in the Bill. Please find below a draft letter you can use.
If you intend to send a letter please do it as soon as possible as the Bill is currently going through Parliament.