Are Gypsies and Travellers facing an impossible situation? They are evicted from sites because they have no planning permission. But a shortage of authorised developments means they often have nowhere else to go. And could a new law make things worse?
The Coalition Government’s proposed Localism Bill aims to give more power and responsibility to local councils and communities for planning decisions. This includes tougher action against people who abuse planning laws.
If localism is to make the planning system “more democratic and more effective”, who are the winners and losers? If there are not enough legal sites for Gypsies and Travellers, are they forced to ignore planning laws? If they are evicted, where do they go and what happens to children’s education and people’s access to healthcare? And what is the impact of illegal sites on the wider community?
I’m exploring these issues for a project that will complete my MA in multi-media journalism at Bournemouth University. Please join in the debate.