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Gypsy and traveller site allocation

Planning guidance places a requirement on local authorities to assess the accommodation needs of Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople and to set pitch targets for gypsies and travellers and plot targets for travelling showpeople that address the likely permanent and transit site accommodation needs of travellers in the District, working collaboratively with neighbouring local authorities.

In particular, planning guidance requires local authorities, in producing their local plans , to identify and update annually a supply of specific deliverable sites sufficient to provide 5 years’ worth of sites against the locally set targets; and identify a supply of specific, developable sites, or broad locations for growth for years 6-10.

If a local authority cannot demonstrate an up-to-date 5 year supply of deliverable sites, then this is a significant material consideration in any subsequent planning decision.

Local Plan Review

As part of the Local Plan review, Horsham Council has commissioned Opinion Research Services (ORS) to carry out a housing needs assessment of the Gypsy, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople community in Horsham District, with the aim of addressing their needs through the Local Plan.  The current timetable is that a draft “Issues and Options” Local Plan document (Regulation 18) will be published for consultation in February/March 2020 with questions on how the identified Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople need should be accommodated in the District.  A further, second round of public consultation (known as “Proposed Submission” consultation) will take place in late 2020 with draft policies and allocations for Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople.  It is proposed to submit the draft Plan for Examination in January 2021 with an Examination taking place in summer 2021 and adoption in late 2021.

Call for sites 2019

As part of the Local Plan Review we held a call for sites exercise between 3 June 2019 and 30 August 2019 to identify and assess potential sites for future use by Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople. We asked for information about any potential sites in the District that may be deliverable and developable for these uses.

We have received details on 3 potential sites for Gypsy and Traveller use.  These are as follows:
1. The Orchard, Cowfold Road 
2. Land North of Girder Bridge, Gay Street Lane, North Heath 
3. Land West of Ifield 
4. Support has also been expressed for Smithers Rough in Rudgwick.

Now that the call for sites is over, the potential sites will be assessed as part of the Local Plan Review, with a consultation on potential sites in 2020.

Submitted Sites

Submit a site

Site Allocations Development Plan Document (April 2017 and December 2017)

The Council published 2 draft Development Plan Documents “Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Draft Site Allocations Development Plan Document (DPD) Preferred Strategy” in April 2017 and December 2017 (1 December 2017-26 January 2018) for public consultation with proposed site allocations to meet the identified need for Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople provision in the District.

The December 2017 draft document identified a supply of 68 gypsy and traveller pitches, which met the 10 year required need for 60 pitches.  The Proposed Submission version of the draft Gypsy & Traveller DPD was due to be presented at Cabinet on 24th May 2018.  However, the owner of the site at Bromeliad Nursery, Billingshurst wrote to Horsham Council on 25 April 2018, formally withdrawing the site as being available for Gypsy & Traveller use.  This meant that the removal of 15 pitches at Bromeliad Nursery meant that the Council could not demonstrate a supply of 60 pitches, as the supply had been reduced to 53 pitches.

The Council did not proceed with the Proposed Submission version of the Gypsy & Traveller Site Allocation DPD, and the document therefore carries very little weight in terms of identifying an unmet need for Gypsies and Travellers.

It was therefore decided to employ consultants to carry out an updated Gypsy and Traveller Needs Assessment in early 2019, so that a new draft Gypsy and Traveller policy and draft allocations could be produced as part of the local plan review.

Read the Draft documents