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New planning guidance for traveller sites published today (Monday) has been welcomed by Peter Luff, MP for Mid Worcestershire.

Following a consultation last year the Government has published this new planning guidance as a separate document from the National Planning Policy Framework, which will be published tomorrow.

This new guidance strengthens protection of the Green Belt by clearly stating that “traveller sites in the Green Belt are inappropriate development”. Greater consideration and weight must now be given to the protection of local amenities and the local environment before developing traveller sites.

The Government has also made clear that abuse of the planning system will not be tolerated and these guidelines will help councils in planning enforcement cases against unauthorised development.

Commenting on the announcement, Peter Luff said,

“Reform to the planning system on traveller sites was desperately needed and I know that these new guidelines will be welcomed in Worcestershire.

“I recognise that most travellers do not cause a nuisance and go about their travelling lifestyle in way that does not result in significant disruption to the settled community. However, there have been unwelcome planning issues and other incidents over recent years around south Worcestershire that have bought the travelling community into conflict with other residents and local bodies.

“These reforms should put right the failings of the previous planning laws which have caused such problems for councils and travellers alike.

“I will be talking to both the local authorities and the police about the full local implications of these new planning guidelines. I hope that the Government’s changes will promote a harmonious relationship in the future between travellers and the settled community.”


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