Monday, 26 March 2012

A ministerial reply on Gypsy and Travaller policy.

Dear Graham
Thank you for your letter of 29 February' to the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, on behalf of a number of your constituents, regarding planning policy for traveller sites. I am replying as this matter falls within my Ministerial responsibilities.

The Government recognise that there is concern about the current planning rules and guidance for traveller sites. We therefore published our draft new planning policy for traveller sites for public consultation last year.. The new policy aims to be short, light touch and fair, put the provision of sites back into the hands of local councils, in consultation with local communities, and protect Green Belt land.

We are currently considering the responses to the consultation on the draft policy and intend to publish the new policy as soon as possible, but I am sure you and your constituents will appreciate the need to follow proper process. The new planning policy for traveller sites will be published on the Department for Communities and Local Government's website. We will also publish a summary of responses to the consultation alongside the new policy.

The consultation on the draft National Planning Policy Framework closed on 17 October. The Government welcomed comments from everyone on all aspects of the Framework during the consultation, including views on the consistency of the draft Framework with the draft new planning policy for traveller sites, and our intention to incorporate planning policy for traveller sites into the Framework. We are looking carefully at all the suggestions that were made as part of the consultation on the draft Framework. We intend to publish the final version before 31 March 2012.
I hope this is helpful to your constituents.