Around a quarter of the UK’s 300,000 Gypsies and Travellers are technically homeless – they have no authorised place to live.
There aren’t enough Gypsy and Traveller sites to go around and there are fears that a new law could give communities greater power to reject planning applications in their local area.
Some Gypsies and Travellers say they have no choice but to set up home on land without planning permission. People from the settled community say that’s not fair.
So, who should get priority?
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
We feel it’s an ethnic cleansing operation where people are being pushed off their own land.”Grattan Puxon, Dale Farm Residents Association
“If we didn’t enforce the law…residents would ask why is there one law for one group in the community and another law for another?” John Baron, MP for Basildon & Billericay
“We never had any friends, we never went to school because we was (sic) too busy moving, being shifted by the police every other day.” Nelson Grant, Traveller
“No one wants to have a Gypsy site in their neighbourhood…therefore as soon as you start looking at a particular piece of land, you generate a huge amount of opposition.” Lord Avebury, Liberal Democrat Peer
“It is a no-go area for a lot of politicians and ministers to touch on Gypsy and Traveller issues.”Matthew Brindley, Research & Policy Officer, Irish Traveller Movement for Britain