Draft Local Plan – Consultation on Additional Site Allocations for Gypsy and Travellers and Travelling Showpeople

Date: 

Monday, 8 August, 2022

SURREY HEATH BOROUGH COUNCIL LOCAL PLAN CONSULTATION. Dark blue background, white and bright pink font.Surrey Heath Borough Council (SHBC) is preparing a new Local Plan for the Borough which will set out the strategy and policies that will guide the development of the Borough up to 2038.  

As part of the plan-making process, SHBC is required to address the needs of all groups, including those with specific housing requirements. This includes making provision for Gypsy and Traveller and Travelling Showpeople (GTTS) sites within the Local Plan, through the allocation of pitches and plots. 

Councils are required by law to assess the accommodation needs of all people living in the area they are responsible for, including the GTTS community. We are now consulting on potential new site allocations in the Borough. 

In preparation for this, a detailed Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA) has been carried out for SHBC, which sets out the Council’s evidenced needs for pitches and plots across the period 2020 – 2040.   

The GTAA sets out that the Council has an identified need for 32 Gypsy and Traveller Pitches and 14 Travelling Showpeople plots over the period 2020 – 2040, with the majority of that need falling within the first five years of the plan period. 

The Council has undertaken extensive work to seek to identify deliverable sites, including: 

  • a number of Call for Sites exercises, where SHBC asks the public, landowners and other interested parties to submit sites that will be made available for the proposed use for consideration for allocation within the local plan.  
  • The preparation of a GTTS site identification paper, which made an assessment of the suitability of land to meet identified needs, mainly focusing on Council-owned land. More than 100 sites were considered, with three sites identified as having potential for allocation, however, further feasibility work identified barriers to delivery. 
  • More recently, the Council undertook a review of all sites previously assessed in the GTTS site identification paper and identification of new site options. 

As a result SHBC are considering three sites:  

  • Swift Lane site extension, Bagshot – 5 pitches 
  • Land South of Broadford Lane, Chobham – 13 to 16 pitches 
  • Bonds Drive extension, Chobham - 5 to 9 Travelling Showpeople plots 

We are holding a consultation on these sites from midday on 8 August to midday on 19 September, and will continue to gather evidence in respect of the key issues affecting each of the sites.  

You can find out more details and respond to the consultation at surreyheath.gov.uk/draftlocalplan 

A link to an online presentation with more information about the consultation can also be found at this webpage. 

Paper copies will be available to view at the Council's office main reception, and at libraries within the borough. 

We will also be holding in person drop-in sessions where staff from the council’s planning team will be on hand to answer your questions at:  

  • Windlesham Field of Remembrance on 6 September 2022 
  • Chobham Pavilion on 7 September 2022  

More details about these sessions will be released on the Council’s website once available.