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Local authorities have a statutory duty to periodically assess the need for Traveller accommodation in their area.
National Planning Policy (specifically Planning Policy for Traveller Sites) requires that local authorities identify a five year supply of specific, deliverable Traveller sites in their local plans, sufficient to meet any need identified in the assessment if a need is identified.
Local authorities should also identify a supply of specific, developable sites or broad locations for growth for years 6 to 10 and where possible for years 11 to 15 in their Local Plan.
Local authorities are required to make their own assessment of need and should work collaboratively with neighbouring local planning authorities to gain a better understanding of cross border migration, provide a consistent approach to the study, deliver economies of scale and reduce the risk of double counting.
A Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment for Lancashire was undertaken in 2007 which found some need in Preston generated by the existing traveller community. However, the evidence needed updating.
Therefore, in conjunction with Chorley and South Ribble Councils, the City Council commissioned a new study to assess the need for sites for travellers, and also for travelling showpeople.
This study completed in December 2013. During the South Ribble Local Plan examination, however, the Inspector raised a number of issues and matters relating to the Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Accommodation Assessment. In light of this, the Council has committed to undertake further work on the Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Accommodation Assessment within 12 months (from February 2014) in conjunction with Chorley and South Ribble Council.
The Council also makes the commitment to produce, jointly with Chorley and South Ribble Councils, a separate Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Accommodation Development Plan Document (DPD), to include transit provision, in line with the outcomes of the further GTAA work.
The timescales for this work are documented within the updated Local Development Scheme (LDS).
In the meantime, if applications for such sites are received, they will be assessed against Policy 8 of the Central Lancashire Core Strategy, which is a criteria-based policy to assess applications for such development.
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