Planning application submitted for Gypsy and Traveller pitch provision in Newark.

Posted on: Monday, February 12, 2024

Our Gypsy and Traveller communities form a longstanding part of Newark and Sherwood’s population.  As any population grows, Government legislation requires that Councils across the UK plan to meet the increasing housing needs of all sections of their local community. This is no different for our Gypsy and Traveller communities.

Providing land for any type of housing can be difficult, but for our growing Gypsy and Traveller communities it is often even more complex, relying on the right land in the right place being allocated for this purpose or being available. 

Since 2013, Newark and Sherwood District Council has, on many occasions, called for private landowners to come forward with land which could be used for Gypsy and Traveller sites.  All the sites put forward have been assessed for suitability as to whether they should be formally allocated for this use. Only 4 new site allocations were considered appropriate in the Newark area, all but one of which now have planning permission.  The final one is at the site of the former Belvoir Ironworks.  This week, Newark and Sherwood District Council has submitted a planning application for 15 Gypsy and Traveller pitches on this site in order to continue to meet the needs of its Gypsy and Traveller population.

Councillor Paul Peacock, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, explains, “We are required by Government to provide land for all our communities.  We detail how we will meet these housing requirements in our ‘Amended Allocations and Development Management Development Plan Document,’ or our DPD for short.  All planning authorities must have a DPD approved by the Planning Inspectorate and ours has currently been submitted for examination.  The submission of this application shows that we are serious about meeting the future housing needs of all our communities, as we have made clear we will. Securing a planning permission will be an important step in us being able to resist gypsy and traveller sites in unplanned locations.

“In Newark and Sherwood, currently there are around 400 Gypsy & Traveller pitches.  The Government’s current methodology means that Newark and Sherwood District Council must find land for an additional 169 pitches, with the majority (103 pitches) needing to be provided within the next 5 years. By submitting this site on Bowbridge Road for Gypsy and Traveller pitch provision, we are taking the first steps to meet this need.

“As part of the planning application process, consultees – like the environment agency and parish councils - have been approached by the District Council and invited to submit their comments. Local residents also have the opportunity to comment. The planning application also includes an arboricultural report, drainage strategy, landscaping plan, an ecological appraisal survey and a flood risk assessment.

Councillor Paul Peacock concludes, “We have made the planning application to continue to try and meet our currently significant unmet Gypsy and Traveller pitch provision need.  We appreciate that the submission of any planning application may raise questions and concerns, but I encourage you to view the plans on our website for further information or to provide a comment.”

The planning application will be considered by the Planning Committee later in the spring.  The meeting of the Planning Committee will be live streamed via the District Council website and can be attended in person by anyone wishing to.