Planning reforms will NOT make gypsy camps easier
Hat tip to Conservative Home for pointing out one of the flaws in The Daily Telegraph's campaign against the Government's planning reforms, specifically the claim that they would make it harder for local councils to stop traveller sites being established.
Not so says Bob Neill, Minister for Local Government:
"Top-down targets for traveller sites undermined local discretion and turned a blind eye to unauthorised development, harming community cohesion. The Coalition Government is scrapping the previous Government's planning rules on traveller sites and issuing explicit new planning guidance which increases protection of the Green Belt and open countryside. Stronger weight is being given to protection of local amenity and the local environment. And through the Localism Bill, councils are being given tougher enforcement powers to tackle the abuse of the system."
Localism means councils choosing whether or not to allow these sites. To say it means a "new legal route" to have them paints a rather one-sided picture. Councils may choose to allow more of them. But those who don't so choose will not be forced to.