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Landowners urged to offer pitch sites for gypsies and travellers

A council wants landowners to come forward with sites for gypsies and travellers to pitch on <i>(Image: The Argus)</i>
A council wants landowners to come forward with sites for gypsies and travellers to pitch on (Image: The Argus)

Landowners have been urged to offer sites to accommodate gypsy and traveller pitches.

Hastings Borough Council said ten additional sites are needed to meet the accommodation needs of the groups.

It follows the council's work with all of East Sussex’s local authorities and the South Downs National Park Authority to commission a joint gypsy, traveller and travelling show people accommodation needs assessment for the study period between 2021 and 2040, which provides a summary of accommodation needs for the communities in respect of both their permanent and transit needs for pitches/plots over the study period.

A call for sites will run until January 24 to give landowners, developers, site promoters and individuals the opportunity to put forward sites to be considered for allocation for gypsy or traveller pitches through the council’s emerging local plan.

The local authority said sites will be assessed for their suitability, availability and achievability.

To be considered, sites must:

  • Be large enough to accommodate at least one pitch for gypsies or travellers

  • Be wholly or partly within Hastings borough

  • Be submitted by the landowner or submitted with proof of the landowner's willingness for the site to be considered as part of this process.

A council spokesman said: “Councils are required by law to assess the accommodation needs of all people living in the area they are responsible for and this includes gypsies and travellers.

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“It is increasingly difficult for families to live on the road as they used to. There are fewer places to stop, and work patterns have changed, for example as agricultural practices have been modernised. Families increasingly require safe and secure 'base sites' from which to travel from should they wish.

“The lack of legal permanent sites makes accessing key services and facilities much harder. Gypsies and travellers face the most serious disadvantages of all ethnic minority groups with shorter life expectancy, high child mortality rates and low educational attainment.”

Sites must be submitted to the council using the site submission form which can be completed online.

All submissions must be accompanied by a red-edged site plan based on an Ordnance Survey map clearly defining the site boundary, together with any relevant supporting information.

People can also contact the community contact centre on 01424 451066 or email: fplanning@hastings.gov.uk.