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Draft Local Plan

Policy 7.10: Gypsy and Traveller Provision

Representation ID: 13370

Received: 16/03/2016

Respondent: Brentwood Gypsy Support Group

Representation Summary:

Broad support, comment on details, concern at the flawed methodology of current needs assessment by ORS.

Full text:

Brentwood Gypsy Support Group

Chair:Bernadette Reilly
Roman Triangle, 77 Roman Road, Mountnessing, Essex, CM15 OUD Secretary: Prof. T.A Acton, OBE
22 Northend, Warley, Brentwood,
Essex CM14 5LA

The Brentwood Gypsy Support Group, after its meeting yesterday, broadly supports the Draft Local Plan, with its balanced vision of sustainable housing, employment and services in the coming years in Brentwood, and is pleased to see that planning for Gypsy and Traveller sites remains embedded in this plan as part of the mainstream concern of planning and community development. Although we continue vigorously to support some planning applications which have not yet been incorporated into the plan, for the reasons that we outlined in our previous consultation responses of September 2013, we regard the projected numbers as realistic and sustainable. Our statement of 2013 remains our detailed position on the allocation of sites, and we urge continuing regard to that, and re-iterate our willingness to discuss the details and facilitate discussions with the families concerned. As time marches on, however, we would suggest that the figure for the 5-year supply should be given for the likely date of adoption of the policy, so, perhaps a figure of 67 pitches as a target for 2022.

There is some concern that the criteria for choices of site may be interpreted in too sweeping a way, especially criterion (a), the effect of which will depend entirely on further wrangles over what constitutes "inappropriate development" and how green belt boundaries are redrawn in detail. We urge that the re-drawing of boundaries take account of places where derelict land is classed as Green Belt, so inhibiting development which would actually be a planning gain on any reasonable assessment, such as the site at Roman Triangle. We continue to believe that where possible the regularisation of the development of land purchased by Travellers remains the best, and for the council, the most cost-effective opportunistic provision, especially if re-zoning provides more effective guidance to Travellers on where they might buy land. We look forward to the market for caravan sites becoming more like the market for houses, with more predictable planning outcomes, a diminution of the need to rely on appeals, and the possibility of mortgage finance. We urge also that the allowance for spare capacity on the established sites may allow relatives of existing families to come to Brentwood to meet sudden expansion of the need for their work, and may be a more cost-effective way of meeting the need for transit provision than a council-run transit site.

We are concerned, however, over the current Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment currently being carried out by Opinion Research Services Ltd. For the reasons given in the letter we have previously copied to you, we regard this survey as flawed, and any attempt to remove Gypsy planning status from our members on its or any other basis will be vigorously resisted. We look forward to a continuation of the existing cordial relationship, and to assisting where we can in negotiations over particular sites. We are also concerned that if the same flawed methodology being used by the ORS is used in neighbouring authorities, particularly London boroughs and Basildon, that will result in serious undercounting of people of nomadic habit of life, who will be pushed by evictions towards Brentwood when in fact their economic ties and preferences lie elsewhere. We therefore urge Brentwood not to rely on county-wide accommodation needs assessments if these are not being carried out rigorously, and to urge other authorities that the kind of thorough and serious assessment that Brentwood has relied upon in the past few years is the only kind that works in the long term.

We also urge the council to remember those Gypsies and Travellers in the Brentwood area who remain of nomadic habit of life, but have less of a psychological aversion to bricks and mortar, and use a house as a base for their travels to work and fairs, often in a smaller touring caravan. These Gypsies and Travellers remain part of the self-employed Traveller economy; their capital may be part of what enables their relatives who do have an aversion to bricks and mortar to develop caravan sites. There are many such in Brentwood. The Brentwood Gypsy Support Group definitely does not believe in "outing" Gypsies and Travellers who conceal their ethnic identity (even when they support public anti-Gypsyism). Still less do we regard Gypsies and Travellers who live or move into houses as "letting down the side". But we do look forward to better community awareness and inclusive anti-racist practice that will enable Brentwood's Gypsy and Traveller citizens to become more confident in expressing and sharing their cultural identity and history in our schools, churches, workplaces and public spaces, so that whether people live in a caravan or a house, or partly in one and partly in the other truly does become a personal cultural and lifestyle choice rather than a fraught, politicised controversy. We do see the mainstreaming of issues of Gypsy Site provision in the draft local plan as a very valuable step towards this vision.

Yours faithfully,
Dr. Thomas Acton, OBE

Comment

Draft Local Plan

Policy 7.10: Gypsy and Traveller Provision

Representation ID: 14045

Received: 16/03/2016

Respondent: Brentwood Gypsy Support Group

Representation Summary:

Would suggest that the figure for the 5-year supply should be given for the likely date of adoption of the policy, so, perhaps a figure of 67 pitches as a target for 2022.

Full text:

Brentwood Gypsy Support Group

Chair:Bernadette Reilly
Roman Triangle, 77 Roman Road, Mountnessing, Essex, CM15 OUD Secretary: Prof. T.A Acton, OBE
22 Northend, Warley, Brentwood,
Essex CM14 5LA

The Brentwood Gypsy Support Group, after its meeting yesterday, broadly supports the Draft Local Plan, with its balanced vision of sustainable housing, employment and services in the coming years in Brentwood, and is pleased to see that planning for Gypsy and Traveller sites remains embedded in this plan as part of the mainstream concern of planning and community development. Although we continue vigorously to support some planning applications which have not yet been incorporated into the plan, for the reasons that we outlined in our previous consultation responses of September 2013, we regard the projected numbers as realistic and sustainable. Our statement of 2013 remains our detailed position on the allocation of sites, and we urge continuing regard to that, and re-iterate our willingness to discuss the details and facilitate discussions with the families concerned. As time marches on, however, we would suggest that the figure for the 5-year supply should be given for the likely date of adoption of the policy, so, perhaps a figure of 67 pitches as a target for 2022.

There is some concern that the criteria for choices of site may be interpreted in too sweeping a way, especially criterion (a), the effect of which will depend entirely on further wrangles over what constitutes "inappropriate development" and how green belt boundaries are redrawn in detail. We urge that the re-drawing of boundaries take account of places where derelict land is classed as Green Belt, so inhibiting development which would actually be a planning gain on any reasonable assessment, such as the site at Roman Triangle. We continue to believe that where possible the regularisation of the development of land purchased by Travellers remains the best, and for the council, the most cost-effective opportunistic provision, especially if re-zoning provides more effective guidance to Travellers on where they might buy land. We look forward to the market for caravan sites becoming more like the market for houses, with more predictable planning outcomes, a diminution of the need to rely on appeals, and the possibility of mortgage finance. We urge also that the allowance for spare capacity on the established sites may allow relatives of existing families to come to Brentwood to meet sudden expansion of the need for their work, and may be a more cost-effective way of meeting the need for transit provision than a council-run transit site.

We are concerned, however, over the current Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment currently being carried out by Opinion Research Services Ltd. For the reasons given in the letter we have previously copied to you, we regard this survey as flawed, and any attempt to remove Gypsy planning status from our members on its or any other basis will be vigorously resisted. We look forward to a continuation of the existing cordial relationship, and to assisting where we can in negotiations over particular sites. We are also concerned that if the same flawed methodology being used by the ORS is used in neighbouring authorities, particularly London boroughs and Basildon, that will result in serious undercounting of people of nomadic habit of life, who will be pushed by evictions towards Brentwood when in fact their economic ties and preferences lie elsewhere. We therefore urge Brentwood not to rely on county-wide accommodation needs assessments if these are not being carried out rigorously, and to urge other authorities that the kind of thorough and serious assessment that Brentwood has relied upon in the past few years is the only kind that works in the long term.

We also urge the council to remember those Gypsies and Travellers in the Brentwood area who remain of nomadic habit of life, but have less of a psychological aversion to bricks and mortar, and use a house as a base for their travels to work and fairs, often in a smaller touring caravan. These Gypsies and Travellers remain part of the self-employed Traveller economy; their capital may be part of what enables their relatives who do have an aversion to bricks and mortar to develop caravan sites. There are many such in Brentwood. The Brentwood Gypsy Support Group definitely does not believe in "outing" Gypsies and Travellers who conceal their ethnic identity (even when they support public anti-Gypsyism). Still less do we regard Gypsies and Travellers who live or move into houses as "letting down the side". But we do look forward to better community awareness and inclusive anti-racist practice that will enable Brentwood's Gypsy and Traveller citizens to become more confident in expressing and sharing their cultural identity and history in our schools, churches, workplaces and public spaces, so that whether people live in a caravan or a house, or partly in one and partly in the other truly does become a personal cultural and lifestyle choice rather than a fraught, politicised controversy. We do see the mainstreaming of issues of Gypsy Site provision in the draft local plan as a very valuable step towards this vision.

Yours faithfully,
Dr. Thomas Acton, OBE

Comment

Draft Local Plan

Policy 7.10: Gypsy and Traveller Provision

Representation ID: 14047

Received: 16/03/2016

Respondent: Brentwood Gypsy Support Group

Representation Summary:

There is some concern that the criteria for choices of site may be interpreted in too sweeping a way, especially criterion (a). We urge that the re-drawing of boundaries take account of places where derelict land is classed as Green Belt, so inhibiting development which would actually be a planning gain on any reasonable assessment, such as the site at Roman Triangle.

Full text:

Brentwood Gypsy Support Group

Chair:Bernadette Reilly
Roman Triangle, 77 Roman Road, Mountnessing, Essex, CM15 OUD Secretary: Prof. T.A Acton, OBE
22 Northend, Warley, Brentwood,
Essex CM14 5LA

The Brentwood Gypsy Support Group, after its meeting yesterday, broadly supports the Draft Local Plan, with its balanced vision of sustainable housing, employment and services in the coming years in Brentwood, and is pleased to see that planning for Gypsy and Traveller sites remains embedded in this plan as part of the mainstream concern of planning and community development. Although we continue vigorously to support some planning applications which have not yet been incorporated into the plan, for the reasons that we outlined in our previous consultation responses of September 2013, we regard the projected numbers as realistic and sustainable. Our statement of 2013 remains our detailed position on the allocation of sites, and we urge continuing regard to that, and re-iterate our willingness to discuss the details and facilitate discussions with the families concerned. As time marches on, however, we would suggest that the figure for the 5-year supply should be given for the likely date of adoption of the policy, so, perhaps a figure of 67 pitches as a target for 2022.

There is some concern that the criteria for choices of site may be interpreted in too sweeping a way, especially criterion (a), the effect of which will depend entirely on further wrangles over what constitutes "inappropriate development" and how green belt boundaries are redrawn in detail. We urge that the re-drawing of boundaries take account of places where derelict land is classed as Green Belt, so inhibiting development which would actually be a planning gain on any reasonable assessment, such as the site at Roman Triangle. We continue to believe that where possible the regularisation of the development of land purchased by Travellers remains the best, and for the council, the most cost-effective opportunistic provision, especially if re-zoning provides more effective guidance to Travellers on where they might buy land. We look forward to the market for caravan sites becoming more like the market for houses, with more predictable planning outcomes, a diminution of the need to rely on appeals, and the possibility of mortgage finance. We urge also that the allowance for spare capacity on the established sites may allow relatives of existing families to come to Brentwood to meet sudden expansion of the need for their work, and may be a more cost-effective way of meeting the need for transit provision than a council-run transit site.

We are concerned, however, over the current Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment currently being carried out by Opinion Research Services Ltd. For the reasons given in the letter we have previously copied to you, we regard this survey as flawed, and any attempt to remove Gypsy planning status from our members on its or any other basis will be vigorously resisted. We look forward to a continuation of the existing cordial relationship, and to assisting where we can in negotiations over particular sites. We are also concerned that if the same flawed methodology being used by the ORS is used in neighbouring authorities, particularly London boroughs and Basildon, that will result in serious undercounting of people of nomadic habit of life, who will be pushed by evictions towards Brentwood when in fact their economic ties and preferences lie elsewhere. We therefore urge Brentwood not to rely on county-wide accommodation needs assessments if these are not being carried out rigorously, and to urge other authorities that the kind of thorough and serious assessment that Brentwood has relied upon in the past few years is the only kind that works in the long term.

We also urge the council to remember those Gypsies and Travellers in the Brentwood area who remain of nomadic habit of life, but have less of a psychological aversion to bricks and mortar, and use a house as a base for their travels to work and fairs, often in a smaller touring caravan. These Gypsies and Travellers remain part of the self-employed Traveller economy; their capital may be part of what enables their relatives who do have an aversion to bricks and mortar to develop caravan sites. There are many such in Brentwood. The Brentwood Gypsy Support Group definitely does not believe in "outing" Gypsies and Travellers who conceal their ethnic identity (even when they support public anti-Gypsyism). Still less do we regard Gypsies and Travellers who live or move into houses as "letting down the side". But we do look forward to better community awareness and inclusive anti-racist practice that will enable Brentwood's Gypsy and Traveller citizens to become more confident in expressing and sharing their cultural identity and history in our schools, churches, workplaces and public spaces, so that whether people live in a caravan or a house, or partly in one and partly in the other truly does become a personal cultural and lifestyle choice rather than a fraught, politicised controversy. We do see the mainstreaming of issues of Gypsy Site provision in the draft local plan as a very valuable step towards this vision.

Yours faithfully,
Dr. Thomas Acton, OBE

Comment

Draft Local Plan

Policy 7.10: Gypsy and Traveller Provision

Representation ID: 14050

Received: 16/03/2016

Respondent: Brentwood Gypsy Support Group

Representation Summary:

We are concerned, however, over the current Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment currently being carried out by Opinion Research Services Ltd. We regard this survey as flawed, and any attempt to remove Gypsy planning status from our members on its or any other basis will be vigorously resisted. We are also concerned that if the same flawed methodology being used by the ORS is used in neighbouring authorities, particularly London boroughs and Basildon, that will result in serious undercounting of people of nomadic habit of life. Urge Brentwood not to rely on county-wide accommodation needs assessments.

Full text:

Brentwood Gypsy Support Group

Chair:Bernadette Reilly
Roman Triangle, 77 Roman Road, Mountnessing, Essex, CM15 OUD Secretary: Prof. T.A Acton, OBE
22 Northend, Warley, Brentwood,
Essex CM14 5LA

The Brentwood Gypsy Support Group, after its meeting yesterday, broadly supports the Draft Local Plan, with its balanced vision of sustainable housing, employment and services in the coming years in Brentwood, and is pleased to see that planning for Gypsy and Traveller sites remains embedded in this plan as part of the mainstream concern of planning and community development. Although we continue vigorously to support some planning applications which have not yet been incorporated into the plan, for the reasons that we outlined in our previous consultation responses of September 2013, we regard the projected numbers as realistic and sustainable. Our statement of 2013 remains our detailed position on the allocation of sites, and we urge continuing regard to that, and re-iterate our willingness to discuss the details and facilitate discussions with the families concerned. As time marches on, however, we would suggest that the figure for the 5-year supply should be given for the likely date of adoption of the policy, so, perhaps a figure of 67 pitches as a target for 2022.

There is some concern that the criteria for choices of site may be interpreted in too sweeping a way, especially criterion (a), the effect of which will depend entirely on further wrangles over what constitutes "inappropriate development" and how green belt boundaries are redrawn in detail. We urge that the re-drawing of boundaries take account of places where derelict land is classed as Green Belt, so inhibiting development which would actually be a planning gain on any reasonable assessment, such as the site at Roman Triangle. We continue to believe that where possible the regularisation of the development of land purchased by Travellers remains the best, and for the council, the most cost-effective opportunistic provision, especially if re-zoning provides more effective guidance to Travellers on where they might buy land. We look forward to the market for caravan sites becoming more like the market for houses, with more predictable planning outcomes, a diminution of the need to rely on appeals, and the possibility of mortgage finance. We urge also that the allowance for spare capacity on the established sites may allow relatives of existing families to come to Brentwood to meet sudden expansion of the need for their work, and may be a more cost-effective way of meeting the need for transit provision than a council-run transit site.

We are concerned, however, over the current Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment currently being carried out by Opinion Research Services Ltd. For the reasons given in the letter we have previously copied to you, we regard this survey as flawed, and any attempt to remove Gypsy planning status from our members on its or any other basis will be vigorously resisted. We look forward to a continuation of the existing cordial relationship, and to assisting where we can in negotiations over particular sites. We are also concerned that if the same flawed methodology being used by the ORS is used in neighbouring authorities, particularly London boroughs and Basildon, that will result in serious undercounting of people of nomadic habit of life, who will be pushed by evictions towards Brentwood when in fact their economic ties and preferences lie elsewhere. We therefore urge Brentwood not to rely on county-wide accommodation needs assessments if these are not being carried out rigorously, and to urge other authorities that the kind of thorough and serious assessment that Brentwood has relied upon in the past few years is the only kind that works in the long term.

We also urge the council to remember those Gypsies and Travellers in the Brentwood area who remain of nomadic habit of life, but have less of a psychological aversion to bricks and mortar, and use a house as a base for their travels to work and fairs, often in a smaller touring caravan. These Gypsies and Travellers remain part of the self-employed Traveller economy; their capital may be part of what enables their relatives who do have an aversion to bricks and mortar to develop caravan sites. There are many such in Brentwood. The Brentwood Gypsy Support Group definitely does not believe in "outing" Gypsies and Travellers who conceal their ethnic identity (even when they support public anti-Gypsyism). Still less do we regard Gypsies and Travellers who live or move into houses as "letting down the side". But we do look forward to better community awareness and inclusive anti-racist practice that will enable Brentwood's Gypsy and Traveller citizens to become more confident in expressing and sharing their cultural identity and history in our schools, churches, workplaces and public spaces, so that whether people live in a caravan or a house, or partly in one and partly in the other truly does become a personal cultural and lifestyle choice rather than a fraught, politicised controversy. We do see the mainstreaming of issues of Gypsy Site provision in the draft local plan as a very valuable step towards this vision.

Yours faithfully,
Dr. Thomas Acton, OBE

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