District Council to apply for funding to help acquire much-needed Gypsy and Traveller sites

Posted on: Wednesday, June 8, 2022

To help reach the requirement for future Gypsy and Traveller provision in the district, Newark and Sherwood District Council will be applying for potential Government funding this month.

According to the Government’s current methodology the District Council must find land for an additional 118 pitches, with the majority (77 pitches) needing to be provided within the next 5 years.

The Governments Traveller Site Fund 2022/23 is available to local authorities in England for new and refurbished permanent sites. Bids of up to £1 million can be made per local authority by 13 June 2022.

If successful in the application, funds can assist, subject to agreement with landowners, with the purchase of sites identified by the Council to help it towards the 118 target.

Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “We’ve worked tirelessly in identifying suitable locations for Gypsy and Traveller sites and we’re working with private land owners in making some of these sites feasible options for us to reach our 118 pitch target.

“We work really closely with our settled Gypsy and Traveller community and we will continue to liaise with them while we work through this.

“In applying for this £1 million funding we hope this can contribute to us reaching our target and assisting in the purchase of sites which landowners have put forward.

“We still feel that more funding should be provided by the Government and we’ll continue to lobby the Government for change for the benefit of our entire community. Albeit there is a proven need such investments should be value for money.”

District Council Cabinet members at the Cabinet Meeting on Tuesday 7 June also agreed endorsement on the direction of the proposed approach in relation to Gypsy and Traveller needs. It was agreed sites would be obtained through:

  • Allocation of new sites in private ownership
  • Contribution from existing sites
  • New sites facilitated by Council action

Newark and Sherwood District Council has called for sites from private owners on a number of occasions since 2013, including actively writing to all landowners who have previously expressed an interest in developing land.  The three potential new sites under consideration are:

1 – Chestnut Lodge at Barnby: a private landowner has put forward some land to provide 20 pitches.

2 – Belvoir Ironworks: land available for sale to the District Council which could provide 30 pitches.

3 – Trent Lane, Newark: land available for sale to the District Council which could provide 19 pitches.

Existing sites at Tolney Lane could also contribute to the Gypsy and Traveller needs subject to some flood resiliency works. Details on this position will be presented to Cabinet in July.

Continued progress on possible land purchasing and Gypsy and Traveller development proposals will also be presented to the July Cabinet alongside the final draft of the Amended Allocations and Development Management Development Plan Document, which for the first time has identified that there is no need to allocate any additional housing (other than for Gypsies and Travellers) or employment sites in any parts of the District.