Housing Core Strategy Review Issues and Options

Housing Issues and Options

17 Issue: Provision for Gypsies and Travellers

Issues

17.1         The Council together with the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF) funds the Westway site (Stable Way) for travellers in North Kensington. Recent national guidance on planning for travellers[11] (March 2012) states that local authorities must make their own assessment of need for the purposes of planning and work collaboratively to develop fair and effective strategies to meet need through the identification of land for sites.

17.2         The Council has already commenced working with LBHF to identify future pitch requirements.

17.3         However, RBKC and to a degree, the LBHF are relatively small inner London boroughs with limited space. The cost of land in RBKC is also extremely high and there are limited opportunities for alternative sites.

17.4         Without additional sites the existing site at Stable Way will remain in use. There is very limited scope for expansion, and the location close to the flyover makes for a poor quality living environment.

Options  

Option 1: Identify other sites either in the Royal Borough or elsewhere.

Pros

    • If a site can be found it will be able to accommodate the need in the most suitable manner with sufficient amenity space.
    • A better location in terms of environment could be found.
    • More land may be available to address specific needs.

Cons

    • Improbable that a new site can be found in the Borough due to lack of availability and prohibitive costs.
    • Links to RBKC would be reduced if a site is found elsewhere.
    • Careful site selection would be required to avoid marginalisation of the Gypsy and Traveller community.

Option 2: Setting a criteria based policy to assess where future pitches could be located if it is not possible to identify any sites under Option 1.

Pros

    • Sets a framework to assess planning applications for any future Gypsy and Traveller sites.

Cons

    • It fails to identify a clear solution to the current overcrowded site.
    • Results in a less planned approach with the potential for the growth of unanticipated sites.