Cheltenham Plan Pre-Submission consultation

Pre-Submission Cheltenham Plan

13 Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople

CONTEXT

13.1 As explained in JCS Policy SD13, Cheltenham has no known need for pitch provision for those who meet the definition of Gypsy, Traveller or Travelling Showpeople. However, Policy SD13 requires that housing needs of the Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople households which do not meet the new definition of Traveller, or whose status is unknown, must also be planned for.

13.2 The most recent evidence on housing need for the traveller community is contained within the Gloucestershire Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment, March 2017 (GTAA 2017). The report found that in Cheltenham there are two households that may meet the planning definition of Gypsy and Traveller households. This translates into a need of up to three additional pitches for households, made up of two temporary pitches and a new pitch ready for potential growth of one of the households.

13.3 The need for three pitches arises from households where it is unknown whether they meet the definition of Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople for planning purposes. Regardless of this lack of detail, as shown above, the JCS is clear that all housing need must be planned for. This includes those who may fall outside of the most recent definition of Gypsy or Traveller.

13.4 In partnership with other Gloucestershire local planning authorities, the Council has undertaken a ‘call for sites’ (on two occasions), where members of the community, developers and landowners were invited to submit sites they consider could be suitable for residential Gypsy, Traveller or Travelling Showpeople use. Through these exercises, no sites have been identified as having potential for Gypsy, Traveller or Travelling Showpeople residential use. Only two sites were put forward with potential for such a use. One of these is the Castle Dream Stud site on Mill Lane, Charlton Kings, and the other was farmland adjacent to that site.

13.5 The GTAA 2017 recognises that Castle Dream Stud is currently the only authorised Gypsy/ Traveller site within Cheltenham Borough; therefore it would not be possible for the occupiers of the site to move to other suitable accommodation within the Borough. Two of the three pitches that are required arise from the previous planning status of this site, being only a temporary permission. The third pitch requirement comes from the potential need arising for any teenage children on site, or concealed households which may require a pitch of their own in the future. Thus, if this site were given planning permission for Gypsy residential use, then this requirement would be fulfilled.

POLICY GT1: GYPSY, TRAVELLER AND TRAVELLING SHOWPEOPLE SITES


The following site, which is shown on the Cheltenham Plan Proposals Map, has been identified as the preferred location for accommodating the future needs of Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople, and is delineated on the plan below. The red lines on the plan mark the boundaries of the allocation and are part of this policy.

  • Castle Dream Stud, Mill Lane – 3 pitches

The contents of Policy GT1 reflect the evidence bases of the Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy and the Cheltenham Plan.

This policy contributes towards achieving Cheltenham Plan Vision: Theme A – objective b.

13.6 The strategy used within the Cheltenham Plan is one which prioritises development within the urban area followed by undesignated areas outside the current urban area, and only looks to designated land as a last resort. The result is that no residential or employment land will be designated in the AONB or Green Belt. The same principle has been followed when determining how to meet our need for Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople accommodation.

13.7 No sites within the urban area or undesignated rural area have been identified. Only one other site has been suggested within the AONB and this is adjacent to Castle Dream Stud and currently contains no structures.

13.8 National and local policy requires that development within the AONB should only be allowed where it conserves the character, landscape, scenic beauty, wildlife, cultural heritage and other special qualities of the AONB. Any harm caused to the AONB will attract significant weight in planning terms. On the other hand, the Borough is required to meet its need for appropriate sites for accommodation. The lack of alternative sites, the direct connection between Castle Dream Stud and the identified need, and the fact that the site has been occupied since 2011 (via temporary permission, most recently 17/00129/FUL) weigh heavily in favour of allocating the site. An online map of the site can be found here: https://www.cheltenham.gov.uk/downloads/download/1528/cheltenham_plan_-_gypsies_travellers_and_travelling_showpeople