Council identifies need for gypsy and traveller sites

Denbighshire County Council is on the look-out for land for a residential, as well as a transit site for Gypsies and Travellers in the county.

The Council, working with Conwy County Borough Council, carried out an assessment need for accommodation for Gypsy and Travellers.   All local authorities across Wales are required to undertake such assessments, in line with the Housing (Wales) Act 2014.

The assessment recognised the need for a six pitch residential site in Denbighshire, as well as a transit site for four to five pitches for those travelling through the county.

A permanent site would function as any other residential community where residents are provided with basic accommodation, such as individual amenity blocks, access to utilities, refuse facilities and collection service. As with any other rented accommodation, residents pay rent and council tax, pay for their own utilities and are required to abide by tenancy conditions.

Transit sites are permanent facilities designed for temporary use by occupiers, normally with a communal amenity block. Individual occupiers are permitted to stay on the site for up to three months at a time.

Currently, there are no existing permanent or transit sites in Denbighshire.

Councillor Tony Thomas, Cabinet Lead Member for Housing, said: “There is a legal requirement on the Council to ensure access to quality housing or accommodation for everyone and creating these two sites in the county will go a long way to addressing the needs of Gypsies and Travellers in the county.

“As an authority, we want to do the right thing by the Gypsy and Traveller communities. Our permanent traveller families want help to keep their culture and heritage alive, whilst integrating into our communities in all ways, from education and the Welsh language through to being active participants in the wider community.

“Currently there are no suitable options for Gypsy and Travellers passing through the county and we believe that a transit site will help us provide adequate services on a temporary basis. It will also help reduce the number of unauthorised temporary sites that we have been experiencing, in particular during the summer season.

The next steps is to review all suitable land currently in Denbighshire and to encourage landowners to put forward any privately owned sites forward for consideration.  Any expressions of interest should be forwarded to ldp@denbighshire.gov.uk.  The closing date for submissions is 8 November, 2017.

 

For more information, please visit: www.denbighshire.gov.uk/gypsiesandtravellers

Posted on Wednesday 13th September 2017