Appeal for land to accommodate permanent Traveller site

In its search for land to accommodate a permanent Gypsy and Traveller site Derbyshire Dales District Council is seeking expressions of interest from land owners prepared to sell land or enter into a long lease for a site.

The appeal for land follows the recent decision by district councillors to cease the pursuit of Tansley’s Knabhall Lane as a potential location following unsatisfactory geotechnical and ecology site assessments.

The Council, which has a specific priority in its Corporate Plan to deliver a permanent Traveller site, says it would ideally be in the southern area of the district, from Matlock to the southern border of the council boundary.

The site should be a minimum of 0.3 HA. As a guide the Council is able to offer three times agricultural value for the purchase of land. The purchase would be subject to planning consent.

The number of pitches that should be provided within a local authority area is determined through a Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment. This requirement is then reflected in that local authority’s Local Plan. To date the District Council has failed to fulfil the requirement in its adopted Local Plan for six pitches by 2019 and one additional pitch for each five-year period after 2019 - a total of nine pitches by 2034.

In addition to providing temporary encampments of Travellers who are passing through the Derbyshire Dales, the District Council has a legal duty to two family groups of Gypsies with an accepted local connection to the area. The particular circumstances of these families are such that they wish to access a permanent site within the District on which to live.

At the present time no such site is available and as a consequence they also travel around the district, moving from site to site. Because of their circumstances these families’ encampments are often lengthier than those of Travellers who are ‘passing through’ and they often occur on land that is administered by the District Council.

The requirements for a permanent site are:
  • The site could be brownfield land (that means a piece of land that has already had buildings or development on it), but open countryside is also acceptable, sometimes referred to as a Rural Exception Site
  • Ideally, the site should be well screened or capable of being screened, limiting the visibility so that caravans or mobile homes are less visible
  • The site should be close to local amenities. This means reasonably close (usually within 3 to 5 miles) to shops, public transport, schools, etc.
  • The site should have a safe entrance and exit on to the highway
  • The site should ideally have services provided to it or be able to have them installed. This means mainly electricity, water and sewage
  • The site should not be in an area prone to flooding
In addition expressions of interest should be made by the landowner or their Agent.

The District Council will commit to undertaking the following:
  • Respond to all enquiries made by landowners or their agents
  • Undertake an initial feasibility assessment of the site
  • Prepare and request pre application advice from the Local Planning Authority
  • Develop detailed designs for the site and undertake all relevant searches
  • Undertake consultation on the proposals
  • Submit a planning application for a permanent or temporary traveller site
  • Commit to the purchase of the site subject to planning approval
Expressions of interest should be sent to housing@derbyshiredales.gov.uk by the 3 June 2022 and ideally include a brief description of the site including how the site meets the requirements set out above, a plan showing the location of the site and contact details for the owner and their agent.

Any questions are points for clarification should be sent to housing@derbyshiredales.gov.uk

Here's more information about how we deal with unauthorised encampments.
In its search for land to accommodate a permanent Gypsy and Traveller site Derbyshire Dales District Council is seeking expressions of interest from land owners prepared to sell land or enter into a long lease for a site.

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