3rd October 2011 - updated 31st October 2011 - updated 8th November 2011 - updated 14th November 2011 - updated 17th November 2011 - updated 18th November 2011 - updated 21st November 2011 - updated 1st December 2011 - updated 12th December 2011 - updated 13th February 2012 (two updates) -
updated 3rd April 2012 - updated 26th May 2012

3 out of 4 Proposed Gypsy and Traveller Sites in Forum Area

Update - 26th May 2012

Gypsy and Traveller Sites - Briefing Notes 24 May 2012

Planning Policy for Traveller Sites

The Government published a new Planning Policy for Traveller Sites on 23rd March 2012. This new policy came into effect on 27th March 2012.

The full document can be found at:

The document sets out a number of aims in respect of traveller sites, which include that local planning authorities should make their own assessment of need for the purposes of planning. This is a change from the previous approach which was for the Government to set out the detailed information that needed to be collected to decide how many transit and permanent traveller pitches were needed.

The new policies aim is to reduce the number of unauthorised developments and encampments and make enforcement more effective. To do this, however the policy indicates that Councils should increase the number of traveller sites in appropriate locations with planning permission, to address under provision and maintain an appropriate level of supply. The Council will still be required to set pitch targets for gypsies and travellers which address the likely permanent and transit site needs of travellers in their area. However the Council is now required to identify and update annually, a supply of specific deliverable sites sufficient to provide five years’ worth of sites against their locally set targets and to identify a supply of specific, developable sites or broad locations for growth, for years six to ten and, where possible, for years 11-15. This appears a more stringent task than before.

Green Belt

The new policy indicates that when plan-making and decision-taking Councils should protect Green Belt from inappropriate development. It indicates that inappropriate development is harmful to the Green Belt and should not be approved, except in very special circumstances. The policy indicates that traveller sites (temporary or permanent) in the Green Belt are inappropriate development. It states that Green Belt boundaries should be altered only in exceptional circumstances. However, if a Council wishes to make an exceptional limited alteration to the defined Green Belt boundary to meet a specific, identified need for a traveller site, it can do so through the plan making process but not in response to a planning application. This has led to the Council to propose a change to its Core Strategy Policy.

Whilst this is a new Policy there appear to be few changes that alter the situation in this area. Whilst an ability to provide the identified need for sites across local authority boundaries is to be welcomed this still requires those that would be gaining sites from another authority to be willing recipients. This is unlikely to be the case in South East Dorset where the majority of Councils are struggling to find sites for those identified as being required in their own area.

The change to prevent 'windfall' applications for Traveller accommodation sites in the Green Belt is a welcome change. However, the reference to finding allocated sites in the Green Belt, even though they remain considered as inappropriate development, does not seem to materially change the situation in north Bournemouth.

The other worry is the requirement placed upon Councils to have a list of allocated developable sites to meet future demands up until 2027 which might lead to even more sites having to be identified.

One issue that is both good news and bad news is the ability for Councils to now devise and undertake their own Gypsy and Traveller needs assessment. Whilst this will give a more up to date figure for future needs it will if the Dorset authorities decide to undertake such a study, thereby not requiring unnecessary sites to be identified, it will lead to a delay in the completion of the process whilst this additional work is being undertaken a concern for those seeking to sell their properties in areas where sites have been proposed.

Update - 3rd April 2012

E-mail from Phil Robinson

26th March 2012

Subject: RE: Inside Housing: Travellers to be banned from green belt

The link to the new Planning Policy for traveller sites is:- www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/pdf/2113371.pdf

As Cllr Whittaker has said the key wording for the Green Belt is to be found in Policy E. It does not seem very different from the position we were in previously. However, Policy B paragraph 7, linked to paragraph 9c) is a useful clarification of occasions when we can work across borders to make provision for sites, both permanent and transit.

Whilst I do not see this as an immediate solution to the issues of making provision in the Borough, it will take considerable negotiating skills to get our neighbours to meet our provisions as well as their own, at least it does open the possibility of doing this.

I am afraid this is so hot off the presses that I have not fully digested all the issues covered but I thought I would at least forward you the link and give some very initial views.

Phil Robinson

E-mail from Raymond Silverthorne to Councillor Ron Whittaker

26 March 2012

Subject: RE: Gypsy Consultation

Good Evening Councilor Whittaker,

You may be interested to read the latest release from the DECG this weekend. It obviously has effect on the consultation locally!


New rules to ensure fair play on planning

Published - 25 March 2012

Government issues new planning guidance on traveller sites

Local Government Minister Bob Neill today published a radically streamlined planning policy that will ensure fair treatment of travellers in the planning system while respecting the interests of the settled community.

Condensing the previous 54 pages of traveller site guidance into just eight pages, the new policy puts the provision of sites back into the hands of local councils, in consultation with local communities.

Ministers believe planning rules have seriously harmed community relations over the last few years, by imposing top-down targets for traveller sites on local councils, increasing the number of unauthorised sites, and compelling councils to encroach onto the Green Belt. At the same time ministers believe that policy introduced under the previous administration created a perception of special treatment for some travellers undermining the notion of 'fair play' in the planning system and further harming community cohesion.

The Government is committed to the protection of the nation's green spaces and this policy will protect Green Belt land and countryside. Traveller sites are an inappropriate development on Green Belt land and the new guidance makes clear that there should be due regard for the protection of the local environment and amenities when local authorities set out their criteria for allocating sites.

The new measures continue the Government's policy of abolishing top-down targets set by central government. Previously the Government has abolished the architecture of regional planning tiers through the Localism Act to prevent any more regional strategies being created and set out measures in the Localism Act to provide stronger enforcement powers for local authorities to tackle unauthorised developments and abuse of retrospective planning permission.

The new planning policy also gives councils the freedom and responsibility to determine the right level of traveller site provision in their area, in consultation with local communities, while ensuring fairness in the planning system.

The result of these changes will reduce tensions between settled and traveller communities whilst enabling provision of accommodation from which travellers can access education, health, welfare and employment infrastructure.

Mr Neill said:

"Top-down targets from central Government failed to provide adequate land for travellers and caused tensions with the local settled community. People want to see fair play in the planning system, treating everyone fairly and equally.

"These new policies will allow local authorities to govern their own affairs whilst ensuring that both travellers and the settled communities get a fair deal through the planning system."

The new policy forms part of a broader package, including changes to planning law to limit retrospective planning applications for any form of unauthorised development and the provision of incentives for new and refurbished traveller sites, which will deliver a better balance between site provision and enforcement.

The Government has also been looking at the inequalities faced by traveller groups and will shortly be publishing a report from the Ministerial Working Group.

With Kind Regards,

Raymond Silverthorne

Planning and Land Agency, Ferndown, Dorset

Further information can be found on the People Before Politics Website

Update - 13th February 2012

Gypsy and Traveller Sites - response from Cllr Borthwick re:question at Forum Meeting 2nd February 2012

Question 11:

If two different types of ethnic groups wanted to use the Transit Site at the same time, what happens?


(Secretary) The ethnic groups will not mix. Secretary will contact the officer at Bristol to see what they do if this situation arises and post the answer on the website.

On 4th February, Cllr Derek Borthwick subsequently responded to this query as follows:-

In response to the question at the meeting re: transit sites being full, the travellers have to pre book. If the site is full they will be informed at the time of application, and told they may not enter or stay in the Borough.

Rents payable one week in advance, plus a damage deposit. Bristol charge about £160 per week rent.

They are all subject to pre checks i.e. ASB, plus previous use of other sites etc. Also Criminal Justice and Public order act 1994 section 62

a-e now includes highways trespassing.

Update - 13th February 2012

Gypsy and Traveller Unauthorised Encampment Statistics 2002 to 2011

A Forum Member requested the following information on unauthorised encampments, through Cllr Anne Rey. The email correspondence and a spreadsheet of the statistics are reproduced below:-

"I am writing to you in response to a number of questions that have been brought to the attention of council officers through Councillor Anne Rey on 31 January 2012.

I understand that you requested a response to your questions by 2nd February 2012. Therefore in order to meet your request I am responding to you with the information available to me at this point in time which may or may not be complete.

However, I have made further enquiries with colleagues in other parts of the Council regarding the information you seek and will update you should any additional information be forthcoming post today's date.

To reduce the chance of any misunderstanding I have numbered both your questions and our response. I have also attached a spreadsheet which details known costs related to Traveller encampments from 2002 2011.

Spreadsheet - Statistics


  • Which of the above groups regularly park their caravans/mobile homes illegally, but cause no damage to the surrounding area?
  • Which of the above groups cost thousands of pound in cleaning up the refuse/damage they left behind in left Kings Park several years ago!
  • How much has cleaning these site when the Travellers leave cost Bournemouth Council annually over the last 10 years
  • Which of the following groups. Gypsies Travellers or Travelling Show people have caused damage to the area around the sites they park on during the last 10 years. Either when parked legally or illegally?
  • Does this damage happen on a regular basis?
  • Is it caused by any specific known group of individuals?
  • Who foots the bill for all this cleaning up. Bournemouth Rate Payers, The Travellers or the Government?
  • If these proposed sites are adopted who will be responsible for any clean up necessary once the Travellers leave and who will bare the cost?

Response to Questions

  • (Q1 and Q2) We do not divide up encampments into ethnic groups and thus I am unable to answer the first two questions in the detail that has been requested
  • (Q3) I attach a spreadsheet which outlines the number of incursions and costs we have incurred over the last ten years, unfortunately for some years this data was not collected. The Average cost over the eight years for which data has been collected is £9250 + £6-7K per annum in staff time.
  • (Q4)I am not aware of any unresolved damage caused by Travelling show people (Fair ground attractions), as these are covered by contractual agreements with the Council, in which any re-instatement costs are recoverable.
  • (Q5) Each year we have groups of travellers coming to Bournemouth in which their numbers and the sites they stay on vary. Some groups will leave the site tidy with no damage, whilst other sites require considerable site repairs and cleansing.
  • (Q6) This varies greatly. There is no one group or real pattern apart from the fact that the summer months see an increase in encampments. However once a particular group have moved into the local conurbation (Poole, Christchurch, Bournemouth and Dorset). They will tend to move from site to site across the conurbation utilising both public and private land.
  • (Q7) The majority of the costs are borne by the Council.
  • (Q8) I can not answer the last question, as I have not been involved in the consultation exercise to this depth of detail

Our figures do not account any incursions onto private land

The provision of sites by local authorities ought to assist and support the reduction of unauthorised encampments. Where properly managed authorised sites should reduce clean up costs borne by rate payers as Travellers will be paying directly for the use of the provided sites."

Gypsy and Traveller Sites in Forum Area Update


Comments should be supported by Planning reasons.
Click on PDF icon for guidance on the criteria used by the consultants for selecting sites.


Gypsy and Traveller Sites Consultation - responses emailed to Alan Cheesman, Bournemouth Borough Council

Forum Members who have emailed comments on the Consultation to Bournemouth Council officer Alan Cheesman should check they have used the correct address (there is no ‘e’ in the middle of cheesman). If you have had your email returned, please send it again to planning@bournemouth.gov.uk where it will be directed to the correct place for the Consultation.


Proposed Gypsy and Traveller Sites - Local Residents to take a Deputation to Council

On 17th January 2012 certain local residents will take a deputation to Full Council. If you wish to support them, please meet outside the Town Hall at 4 p.m. and then proceed to the public gallery.


Proposed Gypsy and Traveller Site Assessments in Bournemouth - Bakers.

To see Bakers' assessments of all proposed sites in Bournemouth, please click here

Update - 21st November 2011

Consultation begins on proposed Gypsy and Traveller sites in Bournemouth 18 November 2011 to 10 February 2012

Bakers Associates are holding four public exhibitions in Bournemouth to give residents an opportunity to find out more and give feedback. These take place on:

  • Monday 5 December - Townsend. Visit anytime between 3.30-7.30pm at Bournemouth Learning Centre, Jewell Road.
  • Friday 9 December - Muscliff. Visit any time between 2pm and 7pm at Muscliff Community Centre, Shillingstone Drive.
  • Tuesday 13 December - Bournemouth. Visit anytime between 3pm-7pm at Bournemouth Library, The Triangle.

For further information including "roadshow" dates and consultation forms, go to:-


Have your say: finding sites in Dorset for Gypsies and Travellers

Click on the PDF icon to see guidance on the criteria for selecting sites - updated 1st Dec 2011

Update - 17th November 2011

Click on the PDF icon to view a letter from Cllr Ron Whittaker and Cllr Anne Rey

Media release: Consultation begins on proposed Gypsy and Traveller sites in Bournemouth

Consultation begins on proposed Gypsy and Traveller sites in Bournemouth

Bournemouth residents are urged to have their say as a public consultation gets underway on proposed Gypsy and Traveller sites in the borough.

Consultants, Bakers Associates, appointed by all Dorset councils, have identified a number of potential sites across the whole of Dorset in order to meet the current and future needs of Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople. Bakers Associates have identified four locations that they think could be suitable in Bournemouth.

  • 10 transit pitches on land off Park Road, Lansdowne (bordering the Wessex Way and public car park off Lansdowne Road).
  • Three residential pitches on green belt land near Erlin Farm, Muscliffe Lane.
  • Five residential pitches on green belt land at Careys Road, off Broadway Lane.
  • Eight residential pitches on green belt land on the edge of urban development at Throop Road, between Woodbury Avenue and the allotments.

The public consultation takes place from Friday 18 November 2011 and residents, local businesses and other interest groups have until Friday 10 February 2012 to give their feedback on the suitability of the sites.

Councillor David Smith, Cabinet Member for Communities and Planning, Bournemouth Borough Council, said: "It is important to remember that these options are being suggested by Baker Associates, as part of the work that all Dorset councils have commissioned them to do, in order to comply with our existing legal duties. The sites in Bournemouth are not endorsed by us as a Council. However, Government is insisting that we consult with our residents on the suitability of these sites for gypsy and traveller accommodation. I can certainly give assurances that we will listen very carefully to what our residents have to say."

Bakers Associates will be holding four public exhibitions in Bournemouth to provide residents with the opportunity to find out more information and give their feedback. These take place on:

  • Monday 5 December - 3.30pm-7.30pm at Bournemouth Learning Centre, Jewell Road, Townsend
  • Friday 9 December - 2pm-7pm at Muscliff Community Centre, Shillingstone Drive, Muscliff
  • Tuesday 13 December - 3pm-7pm at Bournemouth Library, The Triangle.
  • A fourth exhibition will take place in the Lansdowne area of Bournemouth in the new year - date and venue tbc

Consultation forms will be available at all Bournemouth libraries or alternatively, feedback can be given via an online form. More information can be found at: www.bournemouth.gov.uk/travellers

All feedback from the consultation will be considered by Bakers Associates before a revised shortlist is published later next year.

Update - 14th November 2011

For more information on Gypsy and Traveller Sites in Dorset and the Baker Report, please also go to:-


Update - 8th November 2011

Gypsy and Traveller Sites Consultation

Ensure Your Comments Count

Racist Representations

The Council has a legal duty under the Race Relations Acts 2000 and 1976, to treat racist representations seriously. Section 33 states it is unlawful for Local Authority Officers to aid and abet discrimination by failing to challenge representations and these will not be counted in the consultation.

Some Forum members have expressed concern over what constitutes a "racist" comment.

**In general terms, a racist representation is one which includes words, phrases or comments which are likely:

  • to be offensive to a particular racial or ethnic group
  • to be racially abusive, insulting or threatening
  • to apply pressure to discriminate on racial grounds
  • to stir up racial hatred or contempt

Make your comments count. Racist representations will be discounted and respondents will fail to influence the outcomes and decisions of the matter.

** From Royal Town Planning Institute - Dealing with Racist Representations

RTPI Practice Guidance Note for officers of planning authorities written by the RTPI Race Relations Panel

From Dorset County Council:-

Please note that the Dorset councils will only consider comments by respondents who provide their names and contact addresses. Inappropriate, offensive or racist comments will not be acceptable and in extreme cases may be referred to the police.

Update - 8th November 2011

Note: Forum debated Gypsy and Traveller Sites in Bournemouth on 12 February, 2009.

Minutes can be found on:- TMSTH Area Forum Meeting - 12th February 2009

Update - Consultation dates - Friday 18th November 2011 to Friday 10th February 2012

Forum will discuss this issue at the public meeting on 20th October, 2011, 7 - 10 p.m. Bournemouth School for Girls - Performing Arts Centre.

Forum Members are encouraged to attend this meeting and make their views knows.

Update - 31st October 2011


Public Consultation on the recent proposals will take place from 18 November 2011 to 10th February 2012. At that time the Council will produce consultation documents and information on the subject to go with them. However, as it has become clear, Forum Members are anxious for accurate information now and we therefore reproduce the FAQs that were released by the Council in February 2009, for a previous application.

This page will be updated as soon as further information is released by the Council.


Click on the PDF icon to view the FAQ PDF

3rd October 2011

The following is taken from Bournemouth Borough Council's website:-

Consultation planned over four proposed gypsy and traveller sites

Consultants Bakers Associates, appointed by all Dorset councils, have suggested four locations that they think could be suitable for gypsy and traveller site provision in Bournemouth. Bournemouth's Cabinet on 12th October will be asked to agree to proceed with a formal public consultation to gain residents' views on the suitability of each site. The Council will not be asked to support or oppose the sites in any way at this stage.

Bakers' suggestions are:

  • 10 transit pitches on land off Park Road, Lansdowne (bordering the Wessex Way and public car park off Lansdowne Road)
  • Three residential pitches on green belt land near Erlin Farm, Muscliffe Lane
  • Five residential pitches in green belt land at Careys Road, off Broadway Lane.
  • Eight residential pitches on green belt land on the edge of urban development at Throop Road, between Woodbury Avenue and the allotments.

Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Communities and Planning said:

"It is important to remember that these options are being suggested by Baker Associates, as part of the work that all Dorset councils have commissioned them to do, in order to comply with our existing legal duties. The sites in Bournemouth are not endorsed by us as a Council. However, Government is insisting that we consult with our residents on the suitability of these sites for gypsy and traveller accommodation. I can certainly give assurances that we will listen very carefully to what our residents have to say."

Cllr Peter Charon, Leader of the Council, said,

"In Bournemouth, we are very disappointed. When we began this process, we had been promised a change in the law from the Government, that would allow local authorities to work together to respond to the needs of the travelling community - for example, by providing a gypsy and traveller site for use by a number of councils in one suitable location. This would remove the existing requirement based arbitrarily on borough boundaries, regardless of geographical size or availability of sites.

"In fact, Bournemouth has led the way in motivating local authorities nationally to raise this issue with Government as a priority - through both the Local Government Association, making written representations to our local MPs, writing to Ministers and even by meeting with Eric Pickles.

"Government has not followed through on its promise to allow local authorities the power to determine the right level of provision within their area, despite launching a consultation on Planning for Traveller Sites, because there is still no proposal to remove the duties imposed previously."

Having an authorised transit site available in the borough will mean the police can use powers to evict travellers who camp illegally on private or public land. They would then be required to use the available site or leave the borough. Having managed sites can reduce problems with associated anti-social behaviour and limit the detrimental effects on travelling communities’ health, education and well-being.

The Cabinet meeting on 12th October will be formally asked to agree to public consultation, not to form a view for or against any particular site. If Members approve the consultation, local residents, businesses, interest groups and travelling communities will be invited to find out more and have their say on the potential site options for each area. A series of public exhibitions is planned, supported by an online questionnaire and comments form.

The documents relating to the specific sites and the public consultation will be available to the public on Friday 30th September, via the Council's website, as part of the Local Development Framework Steering Committee's agenda paper.

Agenda and Reports for Local Development Framework Steering Committee 12 October 2011, including background information and maps can be found at :-

Agenda and Reports for Local Development Framework Steering Committee 12 October 2011