Why do Gypsies and Travellers pursue a travelling lifestyle?
Their way of life means that they travel the country, staying for various periods of time in different locations, in order to earn a living. This has been their way of life for many generations.
Do we have a duty to move Gypsies and Travellers when they are camped without permission?
No. If Gypsies and Travellers are camped on private land, it is usually the landowner’s responsibility. The Government has advised that when Gypsies and Travellers are not causing a problem, the site may be tolerated.
What happens if the landowner decides to let people stay on the land temporarily?
The landowner may have already obtained planning permission for a caravan site. He/she could be a farmer and the Gypsies and Travellers could be helping with fruit picking, for example. However, in some circumstances the landowner could be in breach of the planning acts and the acts dealing with the licensing of caravan sites.
You may wish to seek further advice from us about illegal encampments by calling 01724 297000.
What can we do if the landowner fails to take appropriate action to remove them?
If the landowner is in breach of any planning or licence requirements we will take proceedings against him or her. The proceedings will require removal of the illegal encampment.
What support do we offer?
Our Gypsy Liaison Officer will visit the Gypsies and Travellers to find out if they have any specific needs. These could be social, for example, housing, health or educational needs. If such needs are identified these would have to be considered in any action we take. The relevant authorities will be informed and consulted at all times.
Estates Officer (Gypsies and Travellers)