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Gypsy and traveller sites

Leicester has a high number of unauthorised Gypsy and Traveller camps, causing inconvenience for local residents, environmental damage, as well as being costly for the council.

Since 2011, we have been trying to resolve this issue by working to identify potential new authorised Gypsy and Traveller sites.

Planning permission was granted for two new sites at Greengate Lane and Red Hill Way in October 2013. Work started on the new sixpitch site at Greengate Lane and the new ten pitch site at Red Hill Way in July 2014.

Identifying new sites

We made the decision to consult on three potential new Gypsy and Traveller sites at Beaumont Way, Greengate Lane and Red Hill Way in November 2011.

This followed a site assessment of nearly 350 council-owned pieces of land to try and identify sites which would be suitable for use by Gypsies and Travellers.

A public consultation on the suitability of the three sites was held between February and July 2012, and the city mayor announced his decision on the proposed sites in January 2013.

Planning applications were submitted for Greengate Lane and Red Hill Way in August 2013, and planning permission was granted in December 2013.

You can download a copy of the report presented to the city mayor, and a copy of his decision on the sites, at the bottom of the page.

The need for new sites

The need for sites for Gypsy and Traveller families can generally be split into two groups - local families, and families travelling through the city for short periods of time.

Some of the local families have lived in or around Leicester for generations and spend most, if not all of the year, in the area. Some of these families have children in local schools and are registered with local GPs.

This group needs permanent sites. They would be responsible for paying rent, electricity, water and council tax – in a similar way to people living in council housing.

There is currently only one permanent site at Meynells Gorse, which has space for 21 families, but has a long waiting list for pitches.

Families travelling through the city for short periods of time need short stay sites, where they can stay for anywhere from a few days up to a few months.

At short stay sites people pay for rent and services. At present there are no short stay sites in the city, so families passing through often stay in unauthorised camps on the side of the road.

The lack of an authorised short stay site also means it is more difficult for the police to move people on from unauthorised camps.

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