Government unveil Gypsy sites powers

Powers to stop the development of Gypsy and traveller sites were unveiled by the government for public consultation this week.

Temporary stop notices would allow local authorities to order the removal of unauthorised developments, including caravans, under threat of prosecution.

Planning minister Keith Hill said: "We must act to stop the scourge of unauthorised sites."

Under the revisions, councils can stop an unauthorised site from expanding and seek the removal of caravans where the harm caused is so great that the site cannot be tolerated.

But the government wants local authorities to take a more proactive approach to delivering legitimate sites for Gypsies and travellers in return. Councils will be able to bid for 100 per cent funding to set up legal residential sites through a grant scheme.

However, shadow local government minister Phillip Hammond maintained that temporary stop notices would make little difference.

"They will not allow the removal of caravans from sites and they will not prevent retrospective applications following a deliberate breach of planning rules," he warned. The draft regulations are open for public consultation until 26 January.

Temporary Stop Notice: Consultation can be viewed via www.PlanningResource.co.uk.


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