Having Somewhere to Live: Accommodation provision for Gypsies and Travellers

Publication type: Resource Library

Author: Friends, Families and Travellers

Themes: Accommodation

Gypsies and Travellers need the same range of accommodation provision that is available to everyone else in our society. In other words, they need to be able to access: long term and short term public and private rented accommodation, •be able to provide for themselves by owning their own sites, •be able to choose where in the country they want to live and move with the same ease as anyone else should they choose to,• and be able to travel around the country and stop overnight on route, just like anyone else can who uses a holiday caravan park or a motorway service station hotel. At the moment, this is not possible. Gypsies and Travellers can travel, but they can rarely stop without fear of persecution because of their lifestyle. There are inadequate numbers of pitches available on local authority sites and getting planning for private sites is extremely difficult. Traditionally, Travellers were able to stop on commons and green verges, which are commonly know as ‘traditional stopping places’. But most of these traditional stopping places have now been closed off through ditching, gating and bunding (creating large earth embankments). This forces Travellers onto less suitable pieces of land such as parks and playing fields and brings them into conflict with people in houses.

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